YANG WANTS TO LEAD FROM THE FRONT NEXT TIME


Major champion Y.E. Yang has confirmed that he is keen to return as Asian Captain for the 2014 edition of the Royal Trophy – and he is also hungry to lead the fight to avenge their heart–breaking defeat from the front line.

In the wake of Europe’s glorious comeback in the Singles when an Asian victory seemed assured at Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou, Yang made it clear he would like to also play his favoured role as a player, allowing him to take the fight to Europe. That was a task he performed with notable success in 2012, especially when partnering fellow Korean K.T. Kim to victory in the sudden death play–off that gave Asia their second win in the annual Seve Ballesteros-inspired Championship.

The man who also provided Asia with their first Major championship triumph when he shrugged off the challenge of Tiger Woods in the 2009 PGA Championship obviously hated the feeling of helplessness he experienced in the face of Europe’s irresistible late charge.

He said: “Losing in that manner after everything looked so positive was a huge blow. It was a shocking loss for us, and I think we all need time to think about what went wrong – and what we can do to put it right next time.

“I felt I did all I could as the Asian Captain. I inspected all 18 holes every day, checked the speed of each green, and tried to give my players as much advice and encouragement as I could.

“I told them they had to be patient and control their nerves. Most of the time they did that brilliantly, and I was very proud of them for that.

“Until an hour or an hour and a half from the finish there was no sign that we would finish as anything but winners. So losing was a huge blow and a big surprise to us.

“But maybe we need more experience of these situations to be fully in control of them. Most of the European players have been in that situation before, and they showed the necessary composure and self-belief to turn things around.

“My players will have gained a lot of that type of experience from this Royal Trophy, and there was clearly not much to choose between the Teams. I really believe in these Asian players, and I honestly feel if we had the chance to play each other again there would be a different result. We lost this time and it hurts, but we will not lose next time.

“The blood is definitely in the water now, and if we can come back next year and win the Royal Trophy back, it will definitely feel sweeter.

“For myself, I wanted to be a playing captain this time, but there were too many players ahead of me in the world rankings who were playing better golf at this time. I have to do something about that when I get back to playing regularly in America on the PGA Tour, and put myself back in consideration as a player.”

The eighth edition of the Royal Trophy will be played on 19-21 December 2014 at the 54-hole Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou, China. The Royal Trophy brings together Asia and Europe in an official and established competition sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour, Asia’s premier professional golf tour dating back to 1976, and the China Golf Association, the People’s Republic’s authority for the sport. The Tournament is also supported by the regional OneAsia Tour.

Oversight of the Royal Trophy resides with the Players’ Committee comprised of Sir Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam OBE, current Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, Olazabal, Isao Aoki, Naomichi ‘Joe’ Ozaki and Jeev Milkha Singh.

The Royal Trophy - Europe vs Asia Golf Championship
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