October 31, 2008 / 7:47 AM / 10 years ago

Asia gives thumbs down to Down Under proposal

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Asia has rejected a proposal to include Australians and New Zealanders in the region’s team to face Europe in the Royal Trophy, believing they can win the contest without players from Down Under.

Europe team captain Seve Ballesteros of Spain holds the trophy after his team won the Royal Trophy against Asia at Amata Spring Country Club on the outskirts of Bangkok January 14, 2007. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

Europe crushed Asia 12- to 3- in the most recent edition of the matchplay event in 2007, prompting organisers to consider following other sports by including Australasians in Asian events.

Under the proposal, Australia’s Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy, former world number one Fijian Vijay Singh and major winner Michael Campbell of New Zealand would have been among those considered for two places on the eight-man Asian team.

“We asked players and a lot of people in Asian golf about what they thought but there was a consensus that they want to keep this Asian,” Lincoln Vernancio of organisers Entertainment Group told Reuters.

“There’s a strong feeling that the standard of Asian golf is improving fast and they have players good enough to win the Royal Trophy.”

The annual event will be hosted in Thailand until 2011 before alternating between Europe and Asia.

This year’s edition was postponed following the death of Thai princess Galyani Vadhana. The 2009 contest takes place from January 9-11.

Reporting by Martin Petty; Editing by John O'Brien

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