BANGKOK: Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal, both past members of the winning Asian team in Dynasty Cup against Japan, will contend with the Europeans this time as they make their appearance in the inaugural Royal Trophy at the spectacular Amata Spring Country Club.
Randhawa has been on the Asian team at both editions of the Visa Dynasty Cup, while Atwal played in the first edition. The Indian duo also played together at the recent World Cup in Spain and finished a creditable ninth.
Atwal, winner of Order of Merit in Asia in 2003, had said that it felt nice to be recognised and picked for an Asian team, when he was nominated as one of the two choices made by Asian team’s captain Masahiro “Massy” Kuramoto who believes the Asian team is capable of scoring over the Europeans.
“A team event is always exciting. Through the year we play individually and so when you play on a team, there is a different kind of a feel. The World Cup was fantastic and Jyoti and I combined well,” Atwal said.
Randhawa, winner of Asian Order of Merit in 2002, and third in 2005, has always been a top choice for matches in team format. “I like a team competition. It’s fun and everybody is rooting for you.”
The Japanese legend, Kuramoto, who is the non-playing captain, said his Asian squad comprised of players from five different nations and it is united in its goal to become the first winners of The Royal Trophy at the spectacular Amata Spring Country Club.
“Our players come from Japan, India, China, Korea and Thailand and although there is a language barrier, we feel that our mind is as one and we have the same goal which is to win this tournament. We are confident we can beat the European Team,” said Kuramoto, winner of 30 tournaments in Japan.
Teams: Asia: Thaworn Wiratchant (Tha), Thongchai Jaidee (Tha), Jyoti Randhawa (Ind), Yasuharo Imano (Jpn), Keiichiro Fukabori (Jpn), SK Ho (Kor), Arjun Atwal (Ind – captain’s pick), Zhang Lian-wei (Chn – captain’s pick)
Captain: Massy Kuramoto (JPN)
Europe: David Howell (Eng), Paul McGinley (Ire), Henrik Stenson (Swe), Thomas Bjorn (Den), Kenneth Ferrie (Eng), Graeme McDowell (NIR), Nick Faldo (Eng – captain’s pick), Ian Woosnam (Wal – captain’s pick)
Captain: Seve Ballesteros (ESP).
SOURCE:THE TIMES OF INDIA