The Royal Trophy looked like a gimme for Asia, after Europe failed to win one of the four matches on day two at Thailand's Black Mountain Golf Club in Hua Hin. Asia were needing only two and half points from the eight single matches to clinch victory. Team captain Colin Montgomerie was shell shocked!
Monty bravely put on a good front at that evenings press conference, and said that they had been soundly beaten, but he still had faith in his European players.
The Asian team had most of their top players in Hua Hin, with the exception of Y E Yang and KJ Choi, whereas Monty had decided to give some of his younger players a chance.
He made a very wise decision to send out his number one ranked player Peter Hanson the only member of the victorious Ryder Cup team at Black Mountain to play in the first rubber against China's number one Liang Wen-chong.
Joe Ozaki the Asia captain then announced his 4th player would be Ryo Ishikawa, and after a minutes pause while he looked at his notes, Monty paired Ryo with Rhys Davies , known as the World's best putter.
The battle commenced at 10.35hrs on Sunday morning, and Hanson went 6 up to eventually show everyone that the European challenge had teeth.
Ryo hit his drive on the second hole into the water, and Rhys putted in to go one up after two.
Much to everyones amazment the scoreboards around the Black Mountaincourse were turning blue for Europe who were up in 4 matches, all square in two with only Jeev Milka Singh and Thongchai Jaidee one up.
Rhys then won his match on the 15th and soon after was joined by Stenson who squared his match on the 18th green against Asian Tour No 1 Noh Seung-yul. Monty soon followed by winning at the 17th green, but with Asia still up in two, it was anyones title.
They were golf buggies flying all over the final four holes as both team captains and their players went to support the final pairings.
Matteo Mannassero, the Italian 17 year old, made an astonishing 2nd shot from 140 yrds straight to within two feet of the pin to clinch his match on the 17th, to the cheers of his team mates.
But still Pablo Martin from Spain, had to go to the last hole with Jeev one up. Jeev had a horrible second shot from the edge of the grass by the fairway bunker, which meant he could not reach the green. Pablo also laid up on this long par 5. However his third shot into the green was magnifcent under enormous pressure. He got to within three feet of the hole to go one up. The crowd errupted and Europe had won the 5th edition of the Royal Trophy.
Coming up behind was Johan Edfors against Thongchai who managed to square his match again on the 18th hole.
Seve Ballesteros set up the Royal Trophy to promote the game of golf and to encourage youngsters to take up the game. With so many of the World's top youngsters playing this week at Thailand's top golf tournament, I think Seve would have been very proud and pleased with a fantastic advert for golf.
I am sure that viewers in 250 countries who watch the tournament live would have been glued to their seats.
Well done everyone especially Captain Montgomerie OBE.
This post has already been read 11 times!