jan9 europetrail

Published:

That's the European team according to captain José Maria Olazábal who is convinced his men can stage a stirring Royal Trophy fightback.

Ollie believes his European side are capable of mounting a glorious comeback to retain the silverware despite losing the opening day foursomes session 3-1 to an inspired Asian team at the Amata Spring Country Club in Thailand.

After making a superb start in the alternate shot format – Europe led all four matches in the early part of the day – the Asian team, inspired by the Thai pairing of Thongchai Jaidee and Prayad Marksaeng’s 5&4 victory over the Swedish duo of Johan Edfors and Niclas Fasth, won two of the day’s four matches on the 18th green, much to the delight of the huge home crowds.

Scotland’s Paul Lawrie and Dane Søren Hansen had taken the first point of the day with a 2&1 win over teen sensation Ryo Ishikawa and Toru Taniguchi of Japan, but news of Jaidee and Marksaeng’s big win swept through the crowd to ensure Charlie Wi and Liang Wen-Chong, and then SK Ho and Hideto Tanihara, won their respective matches against Nick Dougherty and Oliver Wilson and Pablo Larrazabal and Paul McGinley.

But Olazábal believes his players have the ability and confidence to turn round the early deficit. “I believe in the players we have and the pairings that we have,” said Olazábal, who named an unchanged line-up for Saturday’s fourballs.

 “The boys know that they didn’t play up to the standards that we are used to seeing from them today and they face a very tough challenge.

“We are going to have play really well in the next couple of days to win this event. The players know that we need to put our foot down on the gas and really push the pedal.

"I have said all along this week that we a great respect for the Asian Team, but we believe that we can win here and tomorrow we are going to have to play our guts out.”

Royal Trophy – Friday Results (Foursomes)

Ryo Ishikawa (Jpn) and Toru Taniguchi (Jpn) lost to Paul Lawrie (Sco) and Soren Hansen (Den) 2 & 1; Charlie Wi (Kor) and Liang Wen-chong (PRC) beat Paul McGinley (Ire) and Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) 2-up; Hideto Tanihara (Jpn) and S.K. Ho (Kor) beat Nick Dougherty (Eng) and Oliver Wilson (Eng) 1-up; Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) and Prayad Marksaeng (Tha) beat Niclas Fasth (Swe) and Johan Edfors (Swe) 5 & 4.

Royal Trophy – Saturday Draw (Fourballs)

11.05am: Ryo Ishikawa and Toru Taniguchi vs Soren Hansen (Den) and Paul Lawrie (Sco)

11.18am: Charlie Wi (Kor) and Liang Wen-chong (PRC) vs Nick Dougherty (Eng) and Oliver Wilson (Eng)

11.31am: Hideto Tanihara (Jpn) and S.K. Ho (Kor) vs Niclas Fasth (Swe) and Johan Edfors (Swe)

11.44am: Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) and Prayad Marksaeng (Tha) vs Pablo Larrazabal (Esp) and Paul McGinley (Ire)