Jeev loses on 18th as Europe beat Asia to lift Royal Trophy
Hua Hin: Led by Colin Montgomerie, Europe produced an incredible comeback, winning six of the eight singles matches and halving the other two, to defend the Royal Trophy title with an overall 9-7 victory over Asia at the Black Mountain Golf Club here on Sunday.
Europe, who were blanked out in the fourballs, were 7-1 in singles.
Coming into the final day, Europe was trailing by four points and Asia needed just two and a half of the eight singles points to win the trophy for a second time.
After six singles, the two teams were tied. Asia needed to win both Jeev Milkha Singh and Thongchai Jaidee`s matches to win the trophy.
Jeev, who led at various points in his match against Spaniard Pablo Martin, was even with him after 17 holes, while Thongchai was one up over Johan Edfors of Sweden going into the 18th.
Jeev missed a birdie putt on the par-five 18th, which he birdied on the second day. Martin hit a brilliant approach and landed 18 inches from the pin on the 18th green. He rolled the putt in and won the crucial point. Martin`s putt also sealed the title for Europe.
In the other match, Johan Edfors, who has a house in Black Mountain Club, won the last hole with a birdie to halve his match against Jaidee, who even if he had won could have only narrowed the gap.
Earlier in the day, Swede Peter Hanson gave Europe a fine start. He was two down but then went on a winning streak taking nine of the next 10 holes to close the match 7 and 6.
Rhys Davies of Wales, Fredrik Andersson Hed of Sweden an playing captain Montgomerie also picked up wins to leave the series tied at six and a half points each as seasoned Henrik Stenson of Sweden birdied the last hole to halve his match against Noh Seung-yul of South Korea.
Italian prodigy 17-year-old Matteo Manassero put Europe ahead for the first time, edging out Shunsuke Sonoda of Japan on the 18th.
Asia still had a chance with Jeev and Thongchai in the fray. "With the score we had by Saturday, I didn`t expect to lose," Asia captain Joe Ozaki said. "But I realised the difficulty of match play. It could change very fast."
Singles results: Day 3
Final score: Europe beat Asia 9-7 (European names first) Peter Hanson (Europe) beat Liang Wenchong (Asia) 7&6 Noh Seung-yul (Asia) v Henrik Stenson (Europe) ALL SQUARE Fredrik Andersson Hed (Europe) beat Yuta Ikeda (Asia) 2&1 Rhys Davies (Europe) beat Ryo Ishikawa (Asia) 4&2
Colin Montgomerie (Europe) beat Kim Kyung-tae (Asia) 3&1 Matteo Manassero (Europe) beat Shunsuke Sonoda (Asia) 1UP Pablo Martin (Europe) beat Jeev Milkha Singh (Asia) 1UP Thongchai Jaidee (Asia) v Johan Edfors (Europe) ALL SQUARE