Europe beat Asia to win Royal Trophy in thrilling finish

Europe celebrate beating Asia in the Royal Trophy

Europe edged out Asia on a dramatic final day to lift the Royal Trophy.

Jose Maria Olazabal, who masterminded a similarly thrilling Ryder Cup victory against the United States at Medinah last year, again led Europe for the event in Guangzhou, China.

His side began Sunday's play 5-3 down and lost the first two singles.

But they hit back and their 8½-7½ victory at Dragon Lake Golf Club was completed when Nicolas Colsaerts tapped home from two feet on the 17th green.

Olazabal's Ryder Cup side won eight and tied one of 12 matches on the last day to win in Chicago a year ago.

When Kiradech Aphibarnrat beat Paul Lawrie 3&2 and Stephen Gallacher was defeated 4&2 by Thongchai Jaidee on Sunday, Asia led 7-3 and needed only 1½ more points from the remaining six.

Even when Marc Warren took the two putts he needed to beat Ryo Ishikawa, it appeared nothing more than a consolation for Europe.

But HS Kim then picked up three bogeys on his final nine holes against Davie Howell - who made birdies on the 15th and 16th to level, before taking the match with a brilliant last-hole up-and-down from the greenside bunker.

The rush stopped partly as KT Kim halved with Alvaro Quiros, but Europe quickly got a move on again as rising star Thorbjorn Olesen saw off Wu Asham with two holes to spare.

Bernd Wiesberger then notched four birdies between the 10th and 15th holes to earn a 3&2 win over Hiroyuki Fujita after they had reached the halfway stage level.

It became clear that the trophy would be decided by the winner of the last match, between Colsaerts and Liang Wen-chong.

The Belgian edged ahead and then twice recovered as his opponents nipped in front, before taking the lead again with three holes left.

Liang then had a 15-footer to level on 16 but missed, before he messed up an approach on the 17th.

He needed a 30-footer to take the match to the last hole but he three-putted and Colsaerts took full advantage.

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