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Pattaya Daily News

26 November 2009 :: 10:11:37 am 5849

The Royal Trophy 2010 : Montgomerie Neutralizes Ozaki‘S Home Advantage

European Royal Trophy and Ryder Cup Captain Colin Montgomerie demonstrated his strategic genius with critical appointments made in the lead-up to the colossal fourth edition of the Royal Trophy Matches, which brings together Asia and Europe in a golfing battle for stewardship of the perpetual solid-silver Trophy.
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The eight-time Ryder Cup player for Europe surprised all by nominating himself as a player – in addition to his role as Captain for the Matches. And then, the Scotsman partially usurped Asia’s home course advantage by naming as his sixth player Englishman Simon Dyson – a player that is as familiar and comfortable playing in Asia as he is in Europe.

Dyson says it will be like “coming home” when he returns to Asia to make his Royal Trophy debut in January. The English golfer won the Asian Tour Order of Merit nine years ago during the time he was playing full time in the region, helped by victories in the China, Hong Kong and Macau Open Championships – completing a Greater China sweep.

The former Asian Tour Player of the Year will hope to leave the Thai Kingdom celebrating another triumph in Asian soil after he links up with the star-studded European Team jointly assembled by the legendary five-time Major winner Seve Ballesteros and the eight-time European Order of Merit champion Colin Montgomerie.

Dyson hopes to achieve great success at his first appearance at the Royal Trophy and to play again under Montgomerie’s captaincy at the Ryder Cup in October next year. Dyson said: “I’ve naturally got some wonderful memories of Asia, so I didn’t have to think twice when I was nominated to be a member of the European Team for the Royal Trophy.”

“I played the Asian Tour as a newcomer to the professional ranks in the year 2000 to broaden my golfing education before playing in Europe, and it was a fantastic experience. As well as my three victories that year I also finished runner-up in Thailand and I’ve always loved playing golf in Asia. It almost feels like coming home;” stated the former Walker Cup Player.

“Even since I switched to the European Tour I’ve taken every possible opportunity to return to Asia – I won the Indonesian Open three years ago, and was runner-up there earlier this year;” added Dyson.

“If I could be part of a winning European Tour chosen by Seve and Monty and captained by Monty, it would be yet another reason for me to relish my time in Asia. Any time you are picked to play for your Continent it is a real feather in your cap, and I am really looking forward to playing in the Royal Trophy. I’ve spoken to some of the other English golfers who have played there in the past, such as Nick Dougherty and Oliver Wilson, and they told me it is a great event to be part of;” concluded the Manchester resident.

Dyson, 31, is enjoying his most successful season so far in Europe. He captured the Dutch Open title for the second time in August, and then won the prestigious Dunhill Links Championship at the home of golf, St. Andrews, last month. That catapulted him towards the top of the Ryder Cup qualifying table, and a possible reunion with Montgomerie when he captains Europe against the USA at Celtic Manor in Wales next year.

Ryder Cup legend Paul McGinley, who has played for Europe in all three previous Royal Trophy Matches, believes Dyson will prove an invaluable team member. McGinley, who famously sank the winning putt in his Ryder Cup debut seven years ago, explained: “I captained the Great Britain and Ireland team Simon played for against Continental Europe in the Seve Trophy earlier this year, and he was a pleasure to work with.”

“He is a great influence in the team room, always bubbly and full of enthusiasm. His attitude is infectious, and he helps to send everyone out onto the first tee with a smile on their faces. But he is also a seriously good golfer, and his victory in the Dunhill Links, one of our biggest tournaments, shows he is ready to compete with and challenge the very best players in the game;” stated McGinley, one of Europe’s most successful Ryder Cup players in history.

Dyson and Montgomerie will be joined in Thailand by Swedish stars Henrik Stenson and Robert Karlsson, Martin Kaymer of Germany, and big-hitting Spaniard Alvaro Quiros. There are only two more players to be nominated by the Ballesteros-Montgomerie partnership to complete Europe’s challenge.

Asian Captain Ozaki has nominated seven of the eight members of his Asian Team to confront the Europeans and attempt to retain the Trophy in Asia – Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng and Thongchai Jaidee, Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa and Yuta Ikeda, India’s Jeev Milkha Singh, Korea’s Charlie Wi and China’s top golfer – Liang Wen-chong.

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 – a 45 and 30 minute drive from the Bangkok metropolis and the seaside resort city of Pattaya respectively. 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 sixteen-kilogram Trophy, graciously donated by the world’s longest reigning Monarch – His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. Tickets for the Royal Trophy are available at Total Reservation. Please call +662-833-5555 or visit www.totalreservation.com for more information.

Reporter : Jack Rames   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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