• The Royal Trophy

Olazabal turns to Molinari for Royal Trophy boost

ESPN staff
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Edoardo Molinari will look to end a tough year on a high at the Royal Trophy © Getty Images
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Jose Maria Olazabal has edged closer to finalising his team for the Royal Trophy by including Edoardo Molinari alongside his brother Francesco.

The Royal Trophy takes place at the Empire Hotel & Country Club in Brunei from December 14-16.

Europe's Ryder Cup-winning captain Olazabal is looking to lead his side to victory over a team from Asia led by Joe Ozaki.

The likes of Miguel Angel Jimenez and Nicolas Colsaerts have already committed to the event and they will be joined on the team by Edoardo Molinari.

It is reward for the Italian's fine play since returning from injury in the summer and Olazabal is delighted with the latest addition to his team.

"Edoardo belongs in the top bracket of European golfers," Olazabal said. "I am delighted that he is back to full health and that I can count on him and on this fantastic Italian pair for our defence of the Royal Trophy at The Empire.

"You only have to think back to the way Edoardo clinched his Ryder Cup debut to appreciate what a fine player he is when the pressure is on. He birdied the final three holes to win the final qualifying event and then be handed a wild card ahead of many other great European players.

"I have no doubt Edoardo and Francesco will play together in plenty more Ryder Cups, and it significantly strengthens my team to have them playing together at the Royal Trophy.

"Being brothers does not automatically guarantee you will have the necessary chemistry to combine well at foursomes and four-balls - but Edoardo and Francesco's exploits at the World Cup and the Ryder Cup show they certainly have what it takes."

Asian Team
Naomichi 'Joe' Ozaki - Captain - Japan
Liang Wen-chong - Vice Captain - China
Sang-moon Bae - South Korea
Yoshinori Fujimoto - Japan
Ryo Ishikawa - Japan
KT Kim - South Korea
Jeev Milkha Singh - India
Wu Ashun - China
YE Yang - South Korea
Kiradech Aphibarnrat - Thailand

European Team
Jose Maria Olazabal - Playing Captain - Spain
Nicolas Colsaerts - Belgium
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano - Spain
Edoardo Molinari - Italy
Francesco Molinari - Italy
Henrik Stenson - Sweden
Miguel Angel Jimenez - Spain
Team Member - To be nominated

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