Date: January 16, 2007
Author: Alistair Hogg

Aussies to play Royal Trophy?

By Alistair Hogg When Asia was trounced by Europe in this year&aposs Royal Trophy, organisers decided that something had to be done to bridge the significant talent gap if the event has a long-term future. Last weekend, the Amata Spring Country Club in Thailand played host to Europe and Asia&aposs best, including Darren Clarke, Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood, and Jeev Milkha Singh as they competed in foursome, four-ball and singles matches. Inspired by the popularity of the Ryder Cup, the $2 million only started in 2006 and is scheduled to run in Thailand until 2010 when it will start alternating between the continents. Europe triumphed 9-7 last year, but this year&aposs 12 1/2 to 3 1/2 blow out prompted organisers to consider changing qualification criteria to allow for a more prestigious, yet evenly balanced competition. Australia, New Zealanders and Pacific Islanders may be asked to represent Asia which would allow the likes of Adam Scott, Michael Campbell and Vijay Singh to compete in the annual tournament. “That would be great for competitors and great for us,” Swede Johan Edfors told the BBC. “Europe is clearly the best team in world golf at the moment and we would love to take on an Asian team which includes Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific as well.”