Europe, led by Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie pulled off an unlikely Royal Trophy defence to retain the trophy after the concluding singles matches in Hua Hin, Thailand.
Trailing the Asian team 6-2 after the foursomes and fourballs matches, it looked like the European team would relinquish their hold on the trophy. But captain marvel Monty galvanised his troops in the singles and limited the Asian team to just one point from the 2.5 points they needed to win.
Sweden’s Peter Hanson was the first match out, and the Ryder Cup player fought back from two down to blitz Liang Wen-chong by a massive 7&6 scoreline.
Hanson’s countryman, Frederik Anderrsson Hed, Wales’ Rhys Davies and Montgomerie also chalked up wins against Yuta Ikeda and Ryo Ishikawa of Japan, and Kim Kyung-tae of Korea respectively. Hed defeatead Ikeda 2&1, Davies saw off Ishikawa 4&2 while Montgomerie won 3&1 to tie the match at 6-6.
Another Swede, Henrik Stenson claimed a half-point with a last-gasp birdie against Noh Seung-yul, before young Italian sensation Matteo Manassero added another point for the Europeans by beating Japan’s Shunsuke Sonoda by 1-up to nose the Europeans in front.
Despite the fight back, it appeared that the Asian team still held the aces with India’s Jeev Milkha Singh level after 17 holes in his match against Spaniard Pablo Martin, while Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee would take a 1 up lead down the last in his match against Sweden’s Johan Edfors, who had been as much as 3 up in the match before Jaidee fought back by winning four successive holes from the 14th.
However, a birdie on the 18th from Martin after landing his approach just two feet from the pin would see him claim a vital point after Singh missed his own birdie attempt, while Edfors also won the 18th hole with a par to halve the match with Jaidee.