Asia fight back against Europe
Jeev Milkha Singh (Gallo)
Brunei - Birthday boy Jeev Milkha Singh
prompted a stirring second round Asian fightback on Saturday to keep
alive non-playing captain Naomichi "Joe" Ozaki's hopes of regaining the
With the Jose Maria Olazabal-led European side
struggling to reproduce its brilliant opening-day form, Asia hauled its
way back into contention on a day of wildly fluctuating fortunes at the
Empire Hotel and Country Club in Brunei.
Trailing 3 1/2 - 1/2
after the opening-day foursomes in the Ryder Cup-style event, Asia
triumphed 3-1 in the fourballs section, with two of the matches going to
the final hole and the other two decided in Asia's favour on the 17th
Leading 4 1/2 -3 1/2 overall, Europe requires four points
from Sunday's eight singles to secure a fifth Royal Trophy success from
six attempts, while Asia needs to amass five points.
nursed a neck injury during the round, said: "I said yesterday that
things can turn around very quickly in match play and they did. Asia
played well. The match is now on and we're going to have to play very
well in the singles."
Celebrating his 41st birthday, Indian Singh
denied experienced Spaniards Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez victory
when he holed a knee-trembling four-footer for par on the 18th green.
Having watched his partner Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand and both Europeans miss their putts it was a key moment.
was a half that felt like a win considering the position we were in on
the final hole. I may have been the one who holed the putt, but it was a
real team effort. Kiradech is a young boy with a lot of potential,"
"It was nice to hear the crowd singing 'Happy Birthday'. They might not have bothered if I had missed on 18."
sooner had the galleries stopped signing than Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts
briefly burst the Asian bubble with a birdie putt at 18 to gain a half
for himself and German Marcel Siem against South Korean Bae Sang-moon
and China's Wu Ashun.
However, to the relief of Ozaki and the delight of the home support, Asia prevailed in the two remaining matches.
from a back strain, Y. E. Yang was receiving physio treatment just 20
minutes before teeing-off with fellow South Korean Kim Kyung-tae against
Swede Henrik Stenson and Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.
Yang showed no signs of pain as he holed his nine-iron approach from 130
yards for an eagle-two at the opening hole. When Kim holed out with his
approach from the fairway for an eagle two at the ninth, the Asian duo
were five-up.Second day scores on Saturday in the sixth Royal Trophy between Asia and Europe at the Empire Hotel and Country Club:
Match score: Europe leads Asia 4 1/2 - 3 1/2 (Overnightscore:Europe3 1/2 -Asia1/2)
Asia bt Europe 3 - 1
MiguelAngelJimenez/JoseMariaOlazabal(Europe)halvedwithKiradechAphibarnrat/JeevMilkha Singh (Asia)