• Royal Trophy

Europe stun Asia to lift Royal Trophy

ESPN staff
December 22, 2013
Europe came from four points behind to secure victory © Getty Images

Europe produced a tremendous fightback to beat Asia 8.5-7.5 and lift the Royal Trophy at the Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou.

Asia were in the driving seat heading into the final day of singles matches, as they were within three-and-a-half points of retaining their title thanks to sharing the fourballs session on Saturday.

However, trailing 5-3, Europe put on a phenomenal comeback to snatch the honours on the final day, with captain Jose Maria Olazabal inspiring his side to a Medinah-like charge from the Ryder Cup last year.

Asia extended their lead to four points at 7-3 when Kiradech Aphibarnrat beat Paul Lawrie 3&2, while Thai Thongchai Jaidee defeated Stephen Gallacher 4-2.

But as Asia needed just one-and-a-half points from the remaining six matches, they were stunned by Europe as Marc Warren, David Howell, Thorbjorn Olesen, Bernd Wiesberger and Nicolas Colsaerts all won their encounters to complete a remarkable turnaround, with Kim Kyung-Tae of Asia halving with Alvaro Quiros.

Olazabal, who has now won the Royal Trophy, the Ryder Cup and the Seve Trophy as captain, said: "I want to thank these fantastic eight guys who did something extraordinary today.

"To be honest, I had a few doubts, especially early in the round but what you did was extraordinary. Thank you very much for your contribution, for making things easy for me. I hope you all learned a little bit this week, especially the rookies.

"I really appreciate it, it means a lot to me. Thanks for your efforts."

Asia's captain, YE Yang, added: "I congratulate Europe for an outstanding comeback. It was a great tournament but unfortunately a shocking loss for us.

"I never expected this because we were so far in front. The loss is a huge blow and a big surprise. Hopefully we'll learn from the mistakes we made and return stronger next year."

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