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Monday, December 23, 2013

The Limerick Summary: 2013 Royal Trophy

Winner: Europe, 8.5-7.5

Around the wider world of golf: For the most part, this week's golf concerns the various Q-Schools, so I won't go into those here. Peter Senior did defend his title at the PGA Legends Tour Championship in Australia though.

The

You can be forgiven if you don't know what the Royal Trophy is, since it hasn't gotten a lot of press. (At least, not compared with other international competitions.)

The Royal Trophy is a team competition between Europe and Asia, originally spearheaded by Seve. And the trophy was donated by the King of Thailand, hence the name. It's a mix of Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup ideas: 8 players from each side play 16 matches over 3 days -- 4 alternate shot, 4 fourballs, and 8 singles -- so everybody has to play every session. It's currently played every year, and GC provided live coverage Thursday - Saturday night.

The Asian team won last year, and the Euros had announced their intentions to take the trophy back... but it didn't look like it for most of the competition.

Asia dominated the first day, winning 3-1. Going into the final day, Asia had a 5-3 lead and, about halfway through the singles matches, appeared to be running away with it. The Asian team took the first two matches, jumping out to a 7-3 margin and most of the remaining matches were even -- there's a playoff in case of an 8-8 tie, but it didn't look as if that would be necessary. Then the unthinkable happened...

Ryo Ishikawa had been two-up after seven holes in his singles match but Marc Warren managed to square the match by the 18th. And then Ryo shanked a chip across the green (granted, it was a horrible lie) and Marc won the hole with par.

That seemed to open the floodgates. Starting with the Warren win, the Euros won 5 of the final 6 matches -- culminating in a sweet little up-and-down for par on the 18th by Nicolas Colsaerts to take down Liang Wen-chong and finish an unbelievable comeback. (You can get more details in this article from euronews.com. To be honest, I think they started the article when it looked like the Asia team would win, given that the url includes the phrase "asia-storm-ahead-in-royal-trophy.")

Let me be the first American to welcome our Asian counterparts to the US Ryder Cup team's world.

And let me also salute the Euro team's amazing finish with a Limerick Summary. (These last-minute victory charges have simply got to end eventually...)
The Asian team would have succeeded…
But the Euros refused to concede it!
They got in the mix
Winning five of the six
Final matches to get what they needed.
The photo came from the Royal Trophy website.

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