Asia and Europe tied 2-2 at Royal Trophy

Ryo Ishikawa of Japan plays a shot on the first hole during day one of The Royal Trophy tournament at Black Mountain Golf Club on January 7, 2011 in Hua Hin, Thailand.

HUA HIN, Thailand – Europe’s playing captain Colin Montgomerie teamed with Rhys Davies of Wales to win their foursomes match in the Royal Trophy on Friday, leaving Europe and Asia tied 2-2 after the opening day.

Sweden’s Peter Hanson and Frederik Andersson Hed got the Europeans off to a good start at the Black Mountain Golf Club in the Thai seaside resort town of Hua Hin, convincingly beating local favorite Thongchai Jaidee and Jeev Milkha Singh of India 7 and 5.

“It was great to win the first point. We started with a bogey but we got five birdies and played solid after that and had a particularly good run around the turn,” Hanson said.

“It felt a bit like playing at home. There is a big Swedish community here and the support was great.”

China’s Liang Wenchong and Asian Tour Order of Merit winner Noh Seung-yul of South Korea evened the scores when they beat Swedish pair Henrik Stenson and Johan Edfors 3 and 2.

Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa got the better of the much anticipated clash of teenage stars as he and compatriot Shunsuke Sonoda won 3 and 2 against rising Italian Matteo Manassero and Spain’s Pablo Martin, putting Asia up 2-1.

However, Montgomerie – seeking to add another continental match play series after leading Europe to the Ryder Cup in 2010 – and Davies squared the day when they defeated South Korea’s Kim Kyung-tae and Japan’s Yuta Ikeda 2 and 1.

Europe’s partnerships for Saturday’s fourball were announced as unchanged, while Asia captain Joe Ozaki had announced two switches: Singh will partner Kim against Edfors and Stenson, while Ikeda will pair with Thongchai against Hanson and Andersson Hed.

There will be four matches of four-ball on Saturday, followed by eight singles matches on Sunday.

Europe holds the Royal Trophy after a thrilling 8-1/2 to 7-1/2 win last year.

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