ASIAN ACES UNDERLINE STAUNCH ROYAL TROPHY SUPPORT


Stakeholders in European and Asian golf have been urged to join forces to ‘protect, promote and strengthen’ the Royal Trophy.

As the seventh edition of the annual match play contest between Europe and Asia was held at China’s Dragon Lake Golf Club, Asian golfing stalwarts Isao Aoki, Naomichi ‘Joe’ Ozaki and Jeev Milkha Singh reiterated their hopes of a glittering future for the Royal Trophy.

Members of the Royal Trophy Asian Players’ Committee, Japan’s Aoki and Ozaki and Indian Singh have been staunch supporters of the event dreamt up by the late Spanish great Seve Ballesteros and inaugurated in 2006.

Currently the Royal Trophy is sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour Organisation and the China Golf Association, and is supported by the OneAsia Tour – three of the region’s most powerful and influential bodies.

And the Asian trio have made it clear they would like to see other professional circuits within the jurisdiction of the two continents tie up with the Royal Trophy to further cement the event’s standing in the golfing world.

In their message, Aoki, Ozaki and Singh said: “We officially invite all leaders of Asian and European professional golf to act in unison to protect, promote and strengthen this great series of matches which is of enormous value to the further development of the sport in our region.

“The Royal Trophy is the official, established and traditional golf competition between the continents of Asia and Europe. As Asian Players’ Committee members, we uphold the stewardship of this magnificent competition with great allegiance and determination.

“The history and heritage of the Royal Trophy is unique in golf and sports; originating in concert with the vision of the late legendary Seve Ballesteros, featuring a beautiful Trophy graciously donated by the world’s longest-reigning monarch – His Majesty the King of Thailand – and bringing together the great continents of Asia and Europe.

“This extraordinary legacy is to be earnestly respected, celebrated and embraced. We sincerely believe that it is of critical importance and significance that the golf community at-large, including the senior leadership of the game in the two continents, comprehensively support this monumental championship.

“It is clear that Asian golf stands strongly behind the Royal Trophy, including our Asian Players’ Committee members, Asian Team Captain Y.E. Yang, all of his players, the Japan Golf Tour Organisation, the China Golf Association and many others.

“Standing behind the Royal Trophy and the extending of complete support for it are the natural steps to be undertaken by the stakeholders of European and Asian golf.

“The Royal Trophy represents for Asian golf what the Ryder Cup represents for Europe; something of great value and very close to our hearts. This is our premier team competition and we are delighted to witness the fantastic growth it continues to experience.”

Similar sentiments were earlier expressed by past European Ryder Cup captains Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam and José Maria Olazábal as well as Paul McGinley, who has the honour of captaining the European team in next year’s clash against their American counterparts in Scotland.

England’s Faldo, Welshman Woosnam, Spaniard Olazábal and Irishman McGinley are the four members of the Royal Trophy European Players’ Committee.

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