Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie was in ebullient form after his European team beat Asia 8 ½ points to 7 ½ in the Royal Trophy in Thailand; revenge for last year’s four point defeat.
“It was an honour to captain the European team,” said the Scot, who was filling in while Seve Ballesteros continued to recover from his brain tumour.
“This is a very important year for European golf, given the Ryder Cup will take place in Wales at the beginning of October. This was a good start for us, and we hope to build on this during the year.”
As well as Monty, the team was made up of four Swedes, (Robert Karlsson, Henrik Stenson, Peter Hanson and Alex Noren) a Dane (Soren Kjeldsen) a Spaniard (Pablo Martin) and an Englishman (Simon Dyson).
Monty will have noticed the excellent pairing of Swedes Karlsson and Noren, who were the only pair to win both their foursomes and fourball matches.
Elsewhere, Golf World’s columnist, the Australian Geoff Ogilvy, won the first event of the new PGA Tour season, the SBS Championship in Hawaii.
As the defending champion, he fought off a late charge by South Africa’s Rory Sabbatini (who shot a 10-under-par 63) to win by a shot, for his seventh victory on the PGA tour.
There was an especially impressive performance by Scotland’s Martin Laird, who finished in a tie for 4th place, just three shots behind Ogilvy, and picked up $300,000 for his troubles.
On the European Tour, the South African Charl Schwartzel shot a final round 67, to win the Africa Open in East London, by a shot from compatriot Thomas Aiken. The 25-year-old Schwartzel has now won four times on the European Tour.