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Friday, 19 March 2010
The Royal Trophy - Previews  (Getty Images)
The Royal Trophy - Previews (Getty Images)

Asia were in the ascendancy midway through the opening day's foursomes at The Royal Trophy as Europe squandered early advantages.

Europe were twice ahead in all four matches but blustery conditions hampered their progress as Asia led in three matches around the turn in a topsy-turvy opening day at the pristine Amata Spring Country Club near Bangkok.

Japanese duo Ryo Ishikawa and Toru Taniguchi were one up on Soren Hansen and Paul Lawrie after ten holes of the first match, with Thai pair Thongchai Jaidee and Prayad Marksaeng two up after eight against Niclas Fasth and Johan Edfors.

Paul McGinley and Pablo Larrazabal were two up against Charlie Wi and Liang Wen-chong after nine holes, while English duo Nick Dougherty and Oliver Wilson lost the ninth hole as Hideto Tanihara and SK Ho helped Asia seize the early initiative.

After one hour of play, Europe were ahead in all four contests of the third edition of the Ryder Cup-style matchplay event.

Larrazabal's 180 yard bunker shot on the par five second set up a three foot eagle putt for McGinley as the European pair cancelled out an early deficit.

The 25 year old Spaniard and the 42 year old Irishman, who is yet to be beaten in matchplay in three Ryder Cups and two Royal Trophies, then went two up on the fourth when Liang and Wi could only make a bogey five.

The lead became three after a further bogey for the Asian pair, but McGinley and Larrazabal dropped a shot on the ninth before both pairs parred the 10th.

In the front match, Hansen and Lawrie led after eight holes, but the Dane found the water with the second shot on the ninth, allowing Ishikawa and Taniguchi to pull the contest all-square.

The Japanese duo then birdied the tenth to go one up.

Dougherty and Wilson eagled the par five second and birdied the third to go two up before losing the fifth, sixth and ninth to fall one behind Ho and Tanihara.

Buoyed by a partisan support, Jaidee and Marksaeng made five birdies in the opening eight holes to leave their Swedish opponents in their wake as Asia made a strong start in their bid to win the competition for the first time.

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