Europe captain Colin Montgomerie brought in newcomer Rhys Davies and experienced Dane Thomas Bjorn to complete his team for next month’s defence of the Royal Trophy against Asia, organisers said Monday.
Bjorn, who twice won the Ryder Cup as a player and was European vice-captain during this year’s victory at Celtic Manor, makes his return to the Royal Trophy after a four-year absence and joins up with Davies, 25, who earned his place after an impressive debut season on the European Tour.
Montgomerie will be player-captain for a second year after overseeing Europe’s nail-biting 8 – 7 win in January.
The Scotsman agreed to lead the side for a second year at the request of his friend and five-times major winner Seve Ballesteros, who founded the Royal Trophy five years ago.
The Spaniard steered Europe to victory as captain in the first two editions but is still recovering after being diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumour in 2008.
Naomichi “Joe” Ozaki will captain Asia for the fourth time and has kept faith in four players from the last contest, while giving debuts to two Koreans and two Japanese.
The contest moves to the Black Mountain Golf Club in the Thai seaside town of Hua Hin after four successive years at Chon Buri’s Amarta Spring Country Club.
It will take place from January 7-9 and features foursomes, fourballs and singles competitions.
Europe: Colin Montgomerie (Britain) Edoardo Molinari, Matteo Manassero (both Italy) Johan Edfors, Peter Hanson, Henrik Stenson (all Sweden) Thomas Bjorn (Denmark), Rhys Davies (Britain)
Asia: Ryo Ishikawa, Yuta Ikeda, Shunsuke Sonoda (all Japan), Kim Kyung-tae, Noh Seung-yul (all South Korea), Liang Wenchong (China), Thongchai Jaidee (Thailand), Jeev Milkha Singh (India)