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Asia on verge of Royal Trophy defence

ESPN staff
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Paul Lawrie was beaten alongside Stephen Gallacher © Getty Images
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Asia are within three-and-a-half points of retaining the Royal Trophy after they shared the spoils with Europe in the fourballs on Saturday.

With a 3-1 advantage after the foursomes on Friday, the pair from Thailand of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Thongchai Jaidee secured a 2&1 victory over Scots Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher to extend Asia's lead.

Royal Trophy Scoreboard - Day 2

  • Fourballs, Asia listed first:
  • Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat beat Paul Lawrie and Stephen Gallacher 2&1
  • Liang Wen-chong and Wu Ashun halved with David Howell and Marc Warren
  • Ryo Ishikawa and Hiroyuki Fujita lost to Thorbjorn Olesen and Bernd Wiesberger 2&1
  • K.T.Kim and H.S.Kim halved with Nicolas Colsaerts and Alvaro Quiros
  • Overall score: Asia 5-3 Europe
Europe were on course to win the second match, with David Howell and Marc Warren two-up against Liang Wenchong and Wu Ashun. However, the Britons failed to secure the win, with Liang and Wu making birdie-birdie as Howell and Warren bogeyed the 18th.

Europe, led by Ryder Cup-winning captain Jose Maria Olazabal, only had one win on Saturday courtesy of Bernd Wiesberger and Thorbjorn Olesen, up against Ryo Ishikawa and Hiroyuki Fujita. Kim Hyung-sung and Kim Kyung-tae were close to giving Asia the three-point cushion in the last match of the day, but were pegged back by Alvaro Quiros and Nicolas Colsaerts to snatch a half.

And the strong day for Asia means they require three-and-a-half points from Sunday's eight singles matches to retain their crown at the Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou.

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