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Asia take early advantage in Royal Trophy

  • Story Highlights
  • Asia lead Europe 3-1after first day of the Royal Trophy tournament in Thailand
  • Paul Lawrie and Soren Hansen win only point for Jose Maria Olazabal's side
  • Europe have won both two previous stagings of the annual team competition
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(CNN) -- Asia took a commanding 3-1 lead over Jose Maria Olazabal's Europe after the first day of the Royal Trophy in Thailand.

Olazabal (right) is deep in conversation with McGinley on the first day of the Royal Trophy.

Olazabal (right) is deep in conversation with McGinley on the first day of the Royal Trophy.

Europe were ahead in all four matches in the alternate shot format before letting it slip on the back nine of the Amata Spring Country Club near Bangkok.

Olazabal, who is captaining Europe in place of Seve Ballesteros as he recovers after surgery on a brain tumor, sent out Scotland's Paul Lawrie and Denmark's Soren Hansen in the opening match.

It gained immediate reward as the pair scored a 2&1 win over Japanese duo Ryo Ishikawa and Toru Taniguchi 2&1.

But 'Joe' Ozaki's men hit back as Thai pair Thongchai Jaidee and Prayad Marksaeng wrapped up an easy 5&4 triumph over Swedes Niclas Fasth and Johan Edfors.

China's Liang Wen-chong and South Korea's Charlie Wi won the last three holes to finish two up against Paul McGinley and Spain's Pablo Larrazabal.

It was Irishman McGinley's first loss in three appearances in the tournament, which is supported by the Thai royal family.

Young English pair Oliver Wilson and Nick Dougherty then made a mess of the final hole to lose out to Hideto Tanihara and SK Ho.

It gives the Asian team a two-point lead going into Saturday's fourballs play with the match concluded on Sunday with singles matches.

Europe, led by Spanish great Ballesteros, won the first two stagings of the team event in 2006 and 2008. Last year's event was called off after the death of Thailand's Princess Galyani Vadhana.

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