Saturday, January 09, 2010

Monty's Men fight back for Day 2 lead in Royal Trophy

Europe ensured there will be all to play for on the final day of the Royal Trophy match at Amata Spring Country Club near Bangkok, Thailand after Colin Montgomerie's side battled back to lead 4 ½ - 3 ½ at the end of the second day's four-balls.
The hosts had led 2 ½ - 1 ½ following the opening day's foursomes, and Montgomerie opted to tinker with his team by choosing himself to partner England's Simon Dyson while Spaniard Pablo Martin was paired with Swede Henrik Stenson.
That tactic paid dividends with Montgomerie and Dyson particularly excelling together as Europe won three of the best-ball contests to Asia's one.
"We enjoyed playing together today," said Montgomerie. "Simon (Dyson) played especially well throughout the day.
"We kept both balls in play, and that was key. We hardly missed a fairway between us, and that's why we came out victorious."
Montgomerie and Dyson defeated Indian duo Jeev Milkha Singh and Gaganjeet Bhullar 4 & 3 while Swedes Robert Karlsson and Alexander Noren - who claimed Europe's only win on the first day - comprehensively beat Japanese duo Ryo Ishikawa and Koumei Oda 6 & 4.
South Korean Charlie Wi and Liang Wen-chong of China provided the only red on the scoreboard following their 5 & 4 win over Peter Hanson and Søren Kjeldsen, but Henrik Stenson and Pablo Martin won 3 & 1 against Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee and Prayad Marksaeng to ensure Europe hold a one point advantage heading into the final day’s singles.
Teeing off first at the Amata Springs Country Clun near Bangkok, Dyson sank a 15 foot putt on the third for a birdie before Montgomerie's par putt on the fifth was enough to win the hole.
The Scot then picked up a birdie on the sixth to put Europe three up and they retained that lead through the turn.
Singh finally got the Asian pair off the mark when he putted for birdie from six feet before Bhullar added another win with a birdie at the par five 11th.
But, after Bhullar and Singh failed to make par on the 12th, Dyson took advantage with two successive birdies from the 13th to make the win safe.
"We played really good golf and put them under pressure right from hole one," said Dyson. "We kept the ball in play, and two against one is always better."
Karlsson and Noren were in inspired form as they comfortably defeated Ishikawa and Oda, who had combined so well yesterday to beat Montgomerie and Martin.
The European duo were three up by the fifth with Karlsson holing a birdie putt from the fringe on the first before Noren sank an eagle on the second and a birdie on the 495 yard fifth.
They held that lead for the next five holes before the impressive Noren birdied the 11th and 13th holes and Karlsson completed the dominant win when he picked up a shot on the 14th.
Wi and Liang provided the one bright spot for Asia as they bounced back from defeat on the opening day to beat Hanson and Kjeldsen, with birdies in seven of the first nine holes doing the damage.
But Stenson and Martin put Europe ahead for Sunday's singles with a win over Thongchai and Prayad in the final match.
The Thai duo had been outstanding together at the Royal Trophy having gone unbeaten in last year's tournament and also combining to win their match in foursomes yesterday.
A see-saw encounter on the front nine ensured the teams were level at the turn but birdies from Stenson on the tenth and 13th put the European pair into a lead that Thongchai and Prayad were unable to overturn.
"That was big - it was a tough game, a good game, and I am pleased my partner and myself could finish it off as we did," said Stenson.
"It means we go into the singles with a narrow lead, and it's looking good."




Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google