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Europe turn it around in China

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European captain Jose Maria Olazabal. Picture: Victor Fraile/GETTY IMAGES

European captain Jose Maria Olazabal. Picture: Victor Fraile/GETTY IMAGES

European captain Jose Maria Olazabal. Picture: Victor Fraile/GETTY IMAGES

JOSE MARIA OLAZABAL masterminded the 'Miracle of Medinah' in 2012 and this year produced another piece of magic as Europe took the Royal Trophy on a dramatic final day.

The Spaniard's Ryder Cup side won eight and tied one of 12 last-day matches a year ago, and the situation facing his team was the same yesterday.

They started day three 5-3 down to Asia and when their hosts got out to 7-3, the writing was on the wall.

A stunning turnaround ensued, though, and Europe won 8.5 to 7.5 as Asia crumbled at the Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou. Nicolas Colsaerts was the man on the spot to sink the winning putt, prompting scenes of jubilation on the green.

Vindicated

YE Yang appeared to be vindicated when his men led at the end of day two and then stretched out in front as Kiradech Aphibarnrat beat Paul Lawrie (3&2) and Stephen Gallacher was toppled 4&2 by Thongchai Jaidee.

Asia needed a point and a half with six games out on the course, and even when Marc Warren took the two putts he needed to beat Ryo Ishikawa, it appeared only a consolation.

But the win gave Europe some momentum and then HS Kim picked up three bogeys on the way home, which allowed David Howell to make birdies on the 15th and 16th to level, before taking the match with a brilliant last-hole up-and-down.

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 and Hiroyuki Fujita reached the turn all square but the former then ramped up the power and four birdies earned him a 3&2 win. Europe's middle order had put them in with a chance and going into the last match between Liang Wen-chong and Colsaerts, everyone knew the trophy would go to the winner.

Colsaerts edged ahead first and then twice recovered as Liang nipped in front, but the Belgian went out on his own again with three left.

Liang then had a 15-footer to level on 16 put 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 dropped in from two feet for the win.


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