Ishikawa named to Asian team for Royal Trophy

photo

Ryo Ishikawa

BANGKOK, Thailand — Japanese teenager Ryo Ishikawa will represent Asia in January's Royal Trophy against Europe.

Ishikawa was selected by Asia's captain Naomichi "Joe" Ozaki last week, becoming the first player named to either team. The 19-year-old will be playing in the event for the third time.

"My two previous Royal Trophy appearances have been truly memorable and they have played a major part in my development as a golfer," Ishikawa said.

"It is a very different kind of pressure, to be playing for an entire continent instead of just yourself and experiencing that can only be a good thing and make you stronger, especially so early in my career."

Europe will be the defending holder of the Royal Trophy when it is contested at the Black Mountain Golf Club near the Thai seaside town of Hua Hin, Jan. 7-9.

Ishikawa won the order of merit on the Japanese tour, highlighted by a round of 58 in The Crowns — an unprecedented score on any major golf tour.

"What he did at The Crowns will be talked about with awe where ever golf is played, and he has won against since then to prove he is continuing to get stronger towards the end of the season," Ozaki said.

"He is exactly the type of player I want in our team when we battle for revenge from that narrow single-point loss to the Europeans last time."

Europe has won three of the four previous versions of the Royal Trophy, with Colin Montgomerie captaining the team to victory earlier this year and then going on to lead the Europeans to a thrilling victory in the Ryder Cup against the United States.

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