CHINESE TRIO PLOT ROYAL REVENGE AGAINST EUROPEAN TEAM


China’s trio of Royal Trophy representatives admit they are still reeling from the shock of allowing a massive lead to slip at in front of their own expectant supporters. But they have vowed to remain “united” and promised to turn the tables on Europe when the Royal Trophy returns to Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou in 2014.

Asia’s 8 ½ – 7 ½ defeat – after they led 7–3 with two of the eight Singles matches completed – was particularly hard for China’s top player, Liang Wen–chong, to take. He was up against Ryder Cup hero Nicolas Colsaerts in the final match on the course, and every time he looked at the scoreboards he could see Asia’s chances of retaining the Royal Trophy slipping further and further away.

Urged on by a huge army of spectators he produced moments of magic against Colsaerts to twice grab the lead. But despite taking the match all the way to the 18th he could not snatch the win that would have given Asia victory, or even the half point that would have forced a play–off.

Liang commented: “I kept looking at the scoreboards and I could see the situation was becoming more and more desperate for our Asian Team.

“I tried as hard as I could, but Nicolas Colsaerts is a very tough player, and I was suffering from a stomach problem on day two and day three which meant I could not play my very best golf.

“I still enjoyed the match because of the support and the knowledge that everything depended on our match – but, of course, I did not enjoy the result.

“But we have shown that we are a strong and competitive Team, and I am sure we will have more opportunities to win. And I am equally sure we will take them.”

Fellow Chinese star Wu Ashun was the first to admit he had struggled to deal with the intense scrutiny and extra pressure that came from playing in front of his own people. But he too sounded a note of defiance, saying it will not feel so intimidating for the Chinese players when they return to Dragon Lake.

He said: “This was the first time for the Royal trophy to be played in China, and it definitely felt like there was extra pressure. But that is something we have to get used to.

“There were three Chinese golfers involved, with Zhang Lian–wei serving as our Vice–Captain, and I thank him for all the advice and support he gave us. We stand united as members of the Asian Team, and we can say we gave all our endeavours to the defence of the Royal Trophy.

“We will continue to do that, and in 2014 we will be one hundred per cent ready.”

Zhang was clearly frustrated that as a Vice–Captain he was not able to offer advice and encouragement once play was under way. He commented: “I and Captain Y.E. Yang talked a lot, and before day three we gave as much help and advice to the players as we could before they started.

“I played in the first Royal Trophy and we lost. I was deeply involved in this seventh edition, and we lost again. But let me say this now, I want to be a part of this Team again in 2014, and we will not lose for a third time!”

The eighth edition of the Royal Trophy will be held on 19-21 December 2014 at the 54-hole Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou, China. The continental series of matches will once again be sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour, Asia’s premier and most traditional professional golf tour, and the China Golf Association, the governing body for the sport in the People’s Republic. The highly competitive series of matches will continued to be supported by the OneAsia Tour.

The Royal Trophy originated from a meeting between the late legendary five-time Major winner Seve Ballesteros, his nephew Ivan Ballesteros and sports entrepreneur Lincoln Venancio. The first edition of the Royal Trophy was held in 2006 in the Kingdom of Thailand, the perpetual sixteen-kilogram solid-silver Trophy was graciously donated by His Majesty the King of Thailand and the matches are televised to over 250 countries and territories globally.

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