ASIA’S TOP GOLFER HIDEKI MATSUYAMA CONFIRMS SUPPORT FOR THE ROYAL TROPHY


Following a dramatic conclusion to the seventh edition of the Royal Trophy, Hideki Matsuyama’s commitment to the Asian Team is certainly a boost in the continent’s ambition for victory against the Europeans when the eighth edition of the competition is held at Dragon Lake Golf Club on 19-21 December 2014.

In the latest edition of the matches, the José Maria Olazábal-led Europeans trailed 7-3 on the final day of the competition with only six matches remaining on the golf course, but produced a miraculous recovery stunning the Asian Team and securing a glorious 8 ½ – 7/ ½ victory.

The 21-year-old Japanese star Matsuyama had been recruited by Asian Team Captain Y.E. Yang for the latest continental encounter but was unable to compete as a result of a wrist injury developed during his participation in the final tournaments on the Japan Golf Tour.

Matsuyama, remarkably still in his first year as a professional but already ranked 23 in the world, said: “I have informed the Royal Trophy management committee that I would like very much to play at the Royal Trophy this year, if I am selected by the Asian Team Captain.”

The winner of the 2013 Japan Golf Tour Order of Merit added: “I am fully committed to be there for the eighth edition of the Royal Trophy. I know that the Event will be held at Dragon Lake Golf Club once again and I look forward to it.”

Matsuyama is currently Asia’s highest world ranked golfer and won four Japan Golf Tour tournaments titles in 2013, dominating Asia’s richest and most traditional professional golf tour. His victories included the prestigious Fujisankei Classic, Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup Golf and the Casio World Open.

The young Japanese golfer also performed soundly in the Majors with a top ten finish at the US Open and a share of sixth place at the Open Championship alongside Tiger Woods and former Masters champion Zach Johnson.

The confirmation of support by Japan’s and Asia’s highest ranked and currently most promising professional golfer adds further strength to the Seve Ballesteros-inspired tournament which lately has received confirmation of support from numerous powerful figures in the sport including Asia’s first-ever Major winner Y.E. Yang, two-time Masters champion Olazábal, former British Open champion Paul Lawrie, Japanese golfing legend Isao Aoki, six-time Major winner Sir Nick Faldo and current European Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley.

The Royal Trophy is the official and established championship between the continents of Asia and Europe. The competition originated at a historic meeting held in 2001 and attended by the late legendary five-time Major winner Seve Ballesteros, his nephew and former manager Ivan Ballesteros and entrepreneur Lincoln Venancio. The tournament was first held in 2006 in the Kingdom of Thailand.

The Royal Trophy is sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour, a member of the Federation of PGAs, and the China Golf Association, the governmental authority for the sport in the world’s most populous nation. The championship is also supported by the regional OneAsia Tour.

The Royal Trophy Co-Managing Director Lincoln Venancio said: “Hideki Matsuyama’s early commitment to the Royal Trophy is symbolic of the stature of the competition. He is a formidable player with enormous promise.”

“The eighth edition of the Royal Trophy promises to be truly magnificent and Hideki Matsuyama’s keen interest to be a member of the Asian Team demonstrates the great support the championship enjoys from the players,” added Lincoln Venancio.

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