Playing with an ailing back, Indian golfer Jeev Milkha Singh struggled through the day as he and his partner Thongchai Jaidee lost their opening foursomes but Asia was locked 2-2 with Europe under sweltering conditions in the Royal Trophy on Friday.
The competition, played at Hua Hin’s Black Mountain Golf Club, was level throughout the day, with Peter Hanson and Frederick Andersson Hed and the Asian pair of Liang Wenchong and Noh Seung-yul racing to big leads early in their matches.
Hanson and Andersson Hed took an early lead and were never really tested through the day. Jeev, clearly still not recovered from his injury, bogeyed four times and did not have a single birdie. The match ended on the 13th hole.
Though Jeev was declared fit to play in the morning, he was rusty and trying to find his way around. Hanson and Andersson Hed were solid and won four of the first seven holes. By midway, it was clear the European were far too good this day.
“Once were four-up we could not give that up. We knew they were off-colour,” said Andersson Hed.
The Asian team, however, found its way back into the match, as Noh Seung-Yul, winner of the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2010, combined with the 2009 Order Of Merit winner, Liang to score a 3&2 win over Swedes Henrik Stenson and Johan Edfors. Noh and Liang ran up an early lead and were four-up after seven holes and piled on the pressure, though the Swedes did attempt a fightback.
Ryo Ishikawa and Shunsuke Sononda gave Asia the lead beating Italian prodigy Matteo Manassero and Pablo Martin 3&2 but Europe’s playing captain, Colin Montgomerie and Royal Trophy debutant, Rhys Davies, who also played on the Asian Tour, beat Yuta Ikeda and Kim Kyung-tae 2&1.
Keywords: Royal Trophy