Decision on Australasians in Royal Trophy closer?
golfers could be drafted in to boost the Asian team for their Royal
Trophy challenge against Europe to prevent the event from being
a one-sided affair, organisers told Reuters on Tuesday.
Ryder Cup champions Europe have won both editions of the matchplay
event so far, and in January 2007 crushed Asia 12-½ to 3-1/2,
prompting organisers to consider following soccer's lead by allowing
players from New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific islands to play
in Asian events.
"It's a major decision, but the opinion of most parties involved
is that it's a good idea," Lincoln Vernancio of organisers
Entertainment Group told Reuters by telephone.
"The Asians are improving and they will continue to do so
but if Australians and New Zealanders were on board, the team would
be strengthened considerably, there's no question."
A decision on whether to invite the likes of Adam Scott and Geoff
Ogilvy of Australia, former world number one Fijian Vijay Singh
and US Open winner Michael Campbell of New Zealand is expected over
the next few weeks.
The European teams in 2006 and 2007 included Ryder Cup winners
Darren Clarke, Paul McGinley, Henrik Stenson, Niclas Fasth and Lee
Westwood, in addition to former greats Ian Woosnam and Nick Faldo.
"It's all about the timing. It might be too late now, so we
may have to look at it for future competitions," Vernancio
said, adding that a limit would be placed on the number of non-Asians
included in the eight-man team.
The Royal Trophy takes place annually and will be held in Thailand
until 2010 before alternating between the two continents.
Next year's competition features foursomes, four-ball and singles
matches, and will be held at the Amata Springs Country club in Chonburi,
east of Bangkok, from January 11-13, organisers announced on Tuesday.
September 19, 2007