The Royal Trophy will return to the schedules of the Asian Tour, The European Tour and Japan Golf Tour in 2009 when Europe’s eight-strong team seeks a hat-trick of victories over Asia at Amata Spring Country Club, Thailand, from January 9 to 11.
It will be the third edition of The Royal Trophy and replaces the contest planned for January 2008, which was postponed when Thailand entered a period of mourning over the passing of Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana, the elder sister of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Europe’s attempt to win the match-play tournament for a third consecutive time will now take place at the exclusive Bangkok golf course at the start of 2009.
The Royal Trophy features eight-man teams from Asia and Europe, led by non-playing captains, competing in 16 matches for stewardship of The Royal Trophy, which was graciously donated by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
Europe won the inaugural contest 9-7 in January 2006 and retained The Royal Trophy with a convincing victory last year. Thoughts, of course, will be with Seve Ballesteros, who led Europe to victory on both occasions, in his ongoing battle following surgery to remove a brain tumour.
The Royal Trophy will once again see four foursomes matches open proceedings on Friday January 9, with four fourball matches following on Saturday 10th January. The contest will close with eight singles matches on Sunday 11th January.
Kyi Hla Han, executive chairman of the Asian Tour, said, “The Royal Trophy will give us the opportunity to showcase Asia’s growing strength against Europe. The standard of golf in Asia is on the rise and we are confident of putting up a strong challenge for The Royal Trophy next year.”
Keith Waters, director of international policy for The European Tour, said, “We look forward to the return of The Royal Trophy following last year’s postponement and I’m sure it will be as keenly contested, and played in the same spirit, as the first two.
“Our thanks go to Seve who was instrumental in launching The Royal Trophy in 2006. Everyone connected with the event will be thinking of him during this year’s contest.”
Tadashi Koizumi, chairman of the Japan Golf Tour, added, “The Royal Trophy has a great concept. It is not only a team competition between Europe and Asia, but it also plays a very important role in the promotion of the game of golf in the Asian region. With strong members representing the Asian Team, I believe we will have a very exciting match against the European Team.”
The Royal Trophy is promoted by Entertainment Group Limited and Amen Corner S.A. Ivan Ballesteros, managing director of Amen Corner S.A, said, “We are looking forward to a passionately contested third edition of The Royal Trophy. The players from Asia and Europe are bound to compete fiercely for the pride and honour of their respective continents but we are certain that they will simultaneously uphold the highest level of sportsmanship which has become a trademark of The Royal Trophy.”
The Royal Trophy www.theroyaltrophy.com