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

Asia held off a final day singles resurgence from Europe to lift The Royal Trophy for the first time with a 10-6 triumph at Amata Spring Country Club near Bangkok.

After establishing a five point advantage after the first two days of the Ryder Cup-style matchplay event, Asia required just two points from the eight singles duels.

Prayad Marksaeng beat Pablo Larrazabal 5 and 4 after Paul Lawrie had claimed a 3 and 2 triumph over Liang Wen-chong before Toru Taniguchi sank the winning putt as he romped to a 7 and 6 record success over Niclas Fasth.

European captain Jose Maria Olazábal - deputising for close friend and victorious 2006 and 2007 skipper Seve Ballesteros, who is recovering from surgery on a brain tumour - had hoped for a special performance from his team but Asia prevailed.

Paul Lawrie won the day's second match but disappointing performances from Larrazabal and Fasth, playing in the fourth and seventh matches respectively, helped Asia to an unassailable lead.

Nick Dougherty, Oliver Wilson and Johan Edfors recorded their first points of the week, but their wins were ultimately in vain as Asia emerged victorious.

Olazábal congratulated Joe Ozaki's Asian team for their triumph before hinting Ballesteros would return to reclaim the trophy in 2010.

"My last words are for Seve," said the Spaniard as he addressed his eight-man team.

"He is recovering from some health issues, but even though I'm the captain this year, I might not be the captain next year - and I can assure you he is going to be tougher than I was."

The 42 year old promised Europe would learn from the loss.

"I want to thank my players for trying hard this week," he added.

"We lost, it hurts but that will make us better in the future. This is a great event and we have to learn our lesson from this week. The Asian Team have raised the bar and we are going to have come back angrier and more determined if possible to really beat these guys.”

Lawrie - Europe’s top point scorer this week with two and a half points out of three - said: “I am very disappointed with the result but that can happen. It is the first week of golf for a lot our boys after a long break and you have to say that Asian Team played well and putted a lot better than us.

“At the end of the day that is what this game is all about - it doesn’t matter how well you play, you have to get the ball in the hole and they have done that better than us this week. But we have had a great time here this week, this is a great tournament and I hope I can get the chance to come back.”

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