Pattaya Daily News

08 January 2010 :: 13:01:52 pm 4962

Monty is not Shy and Retiring

Colin Montgomerie deliberately put himself in the firing line against Ryo Ishikawa at the Royal Trophy, despite seeing the Japanese phenomenon make mincemeat of another veteran star.
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European player-captain Montgomerie named himself in the first group for tomorrow’s opening round of foursomes alongside Spanish rookie Pablo Martin, sensing Ishikawa and Japanese compatriot Koumei Oda would go out first for Asia.

He was immediately asked if that was a wise move, as Ishikawa recently faced 2009 Masters runner-up Kenny Perry three times in the President’s Cup, and won all three matches.

Perry, 49, was one of the stars of America’s Ryder Cup win over Europe two years ago. But he admitted facing the 18 year old Japanese wonderboy – nicknamed ‘The Bashful Prince’ – had been a sobering experience.

He groaned: “That kid just pushed me a step nearer towards retirement. I’ve got children older than him.”

If Ryder Cup legend Montgomerie, 46, fears the same fate, he was certainly not showing it when the draw was made.

He commented: “I just feel honoured and delighted to be playing with one of the world’s most exciting young golfers.

“Japan and Asia have one of the brightest young talents in the game, and my partner and I have a real game on our hands taking on Ryo and his partner, Koumei Oda.

“It will be a very interesting match-up, and one our friends in Japan will be particularly keen to see. I have never played with Ryo and I am looking forward to it.

“We welcome the challenge, as our whole team does. The four matches look very evenly-matched, and it promises to be a wonderful opening day of golf.

“It is a team competition, and it is all about winning as many points as possible. I will be very surprised if there is much to choose between the teams at the end of day one.”

Montgomerie will bring a wealth of experience to the showdown, after appearing in eight Ryder Cups.

The charismatic Ishikawa delighted his audience in Bangkok by answering a question in English for the second day running.

But Asian Captain Joe Ozaki insisted he did not fear losing his star player to the European team next year if his command of the language continues to improve!

Ishikawa commented: “It is a great match privilege to be playing against a great Ryder Cup player like Colin and his partner.

“It is important for us to play our best golf. I will go out there saying to myself: ‘Just do it’.”

The other eye-catching foursomes clash sees the Thai duo of Thongchai Jaidee and Prayad Marksaeng take on Sweden’s world number eight Henrik Stenson and in-form Englishman Simon Dyson.

Thongchai and Prayad both finished with one hundred per cent records in last year’s 10-6 win over Europe, winning their foursomes and four-ball matches together as the teams’ anchor men.

Montgomerie guessed they would go out last again, and decided to try to dent their air of invincibility by putting his strongest pairing against them.

Stenson last year won the ‘Fifth Major’, the US Players’ Championship, while Dyson pulled off two big European Tour victories towards the end of the year.

Monty resisted the temptation to pair up 2008 World Cup winners Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson, but hinted they may play together in the four-ball.

Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Thongchai said: “Prayad and I are very happy that our Captain has so much faith in us to fill this important anchor role once more.

“It will be a very tough match against two players who had great years in 2009, and we will see what we will see.”

The other pairings see Karlsson and fellow Swede Alexander Noren take on China’s Liang Wen-chong and Charlie Wi of Korea, while the Indian duo of Jeev Milkha Singh and Gaganjeet Bhullar face Peter Hanson of Sweden and Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark.

The fourth edition of the Royal Trophy will take place on 8-10 January 2010 at the exclusive Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi, Thailand. The Championship will feature a series of sixteen matches including the foursomes, four-ball and singles formats. The Principal Award for the winning Continent is stewardship of the perpetual solid-silver sixteen-kilogram Trophy, graciously donated by the world’s longest reigning Monarch – His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand.

The Royal Trophy Premier and Major Sponsors include Heineken, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), PTT, Sports Authority of Thailand and Siam Commercial Bank. The Championship is also supported by Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and Chonburi Provincial Government. For further Tournament information, please call +662 651 9499 or visit the official website www.TheRoyalTrophy.com. The Royal Trophy is promoted by Entertainment Group Limited and Amen Corner S.A.

For further information, please contact:

Thailand
Tel : +662 651 9499
Fax : +662 651 9498

Hong Kong
Tel : +852 2834 0060
Fax : +852 2838 8593

Main Contact
Ms Doris Chang
Mobile : +66 846 939 392 (Thailand mobile)
Mobile : +852 9046 2571 (Hong Kong mobile)
email: doris@eg-rt.com

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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