Interest in the Royal Trophy is already extremely high, with over 250 journalists from Europe and Asia keen to get their pictures and stories, at yesterday’s press conference.
In 2010 Rio made a World record closing round of 12 under par 58 and is returning to represent Asia at the Royal Trophy for a third successive time, and he is still only 19 years old.
Europe not to be out done, have invited their very own super kid, Italy’s Matteo Manassero. Matteo won his first European Tour title at just 17 years old, claiming the Castello Masters last October. He was also recently named European Tour’s Rookie of the Year 2010.
Latest team news is that Eduardo Molinari has had to pull out of the European Team due to injury and Fredrik Andersson Hed has flown in last night to take his place.
Peter Hanson, Thomas Bjorn, Johan Edfors, Matteo Manassero, Henrik Stenson, Pablo Martin and Rhys Davies make up the rest of Monty’s team.
Asia has ten of their players in Thailand to choose from, as Jeev Milka Singh is still recovering from a back injury. He told the media yesterday that he would eventually decide if he was fit to join the team after today’s pro am at Black Mountain Hua Hin.
Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, who is the only player to have taken part in every Royal Trophy match said’ He felt that the Hua Hin course was tougher than last year’s host Amatar Spring Golf Club, and that everyone will need to be aware of some of the greens.’
European team member Rhys Davies from Wales, who is known as the World’s Best Putter, maybe has an advantage, but everyone is predicting a very close fight to the finish on Sunday January 9th at Black Mountain Hua Hin.
The enormous media interest in this event is great for sponsors Tourist Authority of Thailand, as it is promoting golf in Thailand to the masses of fans around the World.