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Monty seeking Royal return for Europe

Montgomerie hopes his Europe side will win back the Royal trophy. (REUTERS)

By Reuters

Victory against Asia at this week's Royal Trophy would be vital in reviving European matchplay golf ahead of the Ryder Cup, according to the team captain for both events Colin Montgomerie.

"It's very important to start the Ryder Cup year with a win and it's important for European golf to get off to a flying start," said Montgomerie. "It's a tournament we must win. Having lost the last edition of the Royal Trophy, it's very important for us to get back to winning ways."

"We've been lucky over the past 20 years when you think of our Ryder Cup success and we lost that last time [in 2008], so we need a great start in 2010 and we're looking forward to victory."

Montgomerie also admitted this week's competition at the Amata Spring course would give him chance to see which players could handle the pressures of team golf ahead of the battle with the United States at Wales' Celtic Manor in October.

Playing with the Scot in Thailand will be Soren Kjeldsen, Simon Dyson, Pablo Martin, Henrik Stenson, Robert Karlsson, Alexander Noren and Peter Hanson.

"There's world-class players in my team and new players coming through," he said. "I look forward to watching them at very close quarters, in a matchplay situation, to see what they do. They're anxious to prove to me how they can perform.

"Strokeplay is one thing, but there are two very different forms of golf," added Montgomerie. "My eye is on matchplay: who is confident, who looks as if they can hold themselves under huge pressure when the Ryder Cup comes along. I'm watching everyone this year."

After their humbling 10-6 defeat by Asia last year, Montgomerie warned against complacency and said Europe's opponents should not be underestimated on home turf.

"The Asian team are very, very strong and we have to be very, very careful," he said. "Asia is the up-and-coming continent in the world of golf, there's no question.

"We said this 10 years ago and it's now coming to fruition... the competition is as close as it's ever been and I expect it to come down to [the] last putt."


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