sport

Royal invitation for Molinari

European captain Jose Maria Olazabal has added Italy's Edoardo Molinari to his team for this month's Royal Trophy.

Molinari joins brother Francesco on a European side that will take on their Asian counterparts at the Empire Hotel & Country Club in Brunei from December 14-16.

Olazabal, who will assume the role of player-captain at the event, is delighted to be able include Molinari who played at the 2010 Ryder Cup in Wales alongside his brother.

The Italian has made a solid return to form in recent months after overcoming injury and becomes the seventh confirmed member of Olazabal's eight-man team.

"Edoardo belongs in the top bracket of European golfers," Olazabal stated. "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."

Europe have won four of the five editions of the tournament which, up until this year, had always previously been held in Thailand.

Asian Team: Naomichi 'Joe' Ozaki (Captain - Japan), Liang Wen-chong (Vice Captain - China); Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand), 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).

European Team: Jose Maria Olazabal (Playing Captain - Spain); Nicolas Colsaerts (Belgium), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spain), Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spain), Edoardo Molinari (Italy), Francesco Molinari (Italy), Henrik Stenson (Sweden), Team member - TBC.