Jeev Milkha Singh made two massive putts for birdies on the 16th and 17th holes to score a full point over veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez and help Asia clinch the Royal Trophy for the second time in six editions.
Jeev’s effort tied the match at 8-8 and, in the first sudden death play-off, the Korean duo of KT Kim and YE Yang defeated Ryder Cup hero Nicolas Colsaerts and Francesco Molinari as Naomichi ‘Joe’ Ozaki’s Asian team grabbed the Royal Trophy at the end of three exciting days at The Empire Hotel & Country Club.
Kim holed a 16-foot birdie putt on the 18th green — the first extra hole — to spark scenes of jubilation among the Asian contingent at the Empire Hotel and Country Club.
“I’m so happy we made it,” said non-playing Asian captain Ozaki, whose team had lost four of the five previous Royal Trophy contests.
Less than three months after masterminding his continent’s Ryder Cup triumph in America, Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal was magnanimous in defeat. “I said all week it would go to the wire, and it did. There is no disgrace in defeat. It was a great match. Congratulations to Joe (Ozaki) and to the Asian team. They played very well."
“It really was a great win for Asian golf. The past three days were really exciting and it feels nice to win the Trophy for the team,” said Jeev even as the win sparked off scenes of celebrations with Gangnam style dance around the 18th green.
The wins for Asia came as Jeev beat Jimenez by 1-up, Yoshinori Fujimoto beat Marcel Siem 1-up and YE Yang 2-up over Francesco Molinari.