Ryder Cup ace Karlsson, a member of the triumphant European team at the Royal Trophy 2007, has again been selected by European Team Captain Seve Ballesteros, along with Frenchman Gregory Havret, one of Europe's most improved players this year.
Karlsson has won more titles on the European Tour's international schedule than any other Swedish golfers, with seven victories so far - but he is still wondering how he failed to make it eight on his latest outing, at the Hong Kong Open last month.
The giant Swede opened with two brilliant 64s, and followed up with a 66 to lead by four shots after both the second and third rounds. But a two over par 72 in the final round allowed fellow Ryder Cup star Miguel Angel Jimenez to charge through the field and pip him by one shot.
So Karlsson will be doubly determined not to get that sinking feeling again when he and his European team-mates take on Captain Joe Ozaki's fired-up Asian Team at the Amata Spring Country Club in Bangkok from January 11-13.
He said: "I played some great golf in Hong Kong, but Miguel found the inspiration when it mattered and beat me fair and square. But that doesn't mean losing didn't hurt. No golfer ever likes losing, and when you go so close it makes you even more determined to savor the feeling of victory again."
"I enjoyed that emotion as a team member at both my Ryder Cup debut and in my first Royal Trophy, and I will be doing everything I can to make sure I'm on the winning side again."
"The flights home from Asia can pass very slowly when you have a defeat to ponder upon, as I found out after Hong Kong. It didn't seem such a long flight after the Royal Trophy 2007, and I'm hoping to make time fly again this time."
Havret will be just as determined to impress as he looks to build upon easily the best year of his career. He hit the headlines at the Scottish Open by coming from a shot behind playing partner Phil Mickelson in the final round to force a play-off with the world number two - and then beat him at the first extra hole.
His victory at the Scottish Open was not his first in the highly competitive European Tour and that success at Loch Lomond did not come as a surprise. He had finished third the previous week in the European Open at the K Club - after a terrific scrap with two more big names golfers in Niclas Fasth and Colin Montgomerie - and had earlier turned in an eye-catching display in front of his own supporters at the French Open.
The Frenchman said: "Before my Scottish Open victory the Ryder Cup was just a dream. But wins like that help to lift you to a higher plain. And when Seve Ballesteros asks you to be a member of his team for a prestigious event like the Royal Trophy, you really begin to feel that you have moved up a level."
"It is a tremendous reward for the best season of my career. It was wonderful to have a very solid finish on the Order of Merit in Europe, and of course I want to build on that and keep improving."
"The two previous Royal Trophy matches have become a big talking point on the European Tour, and the Event it is clearly growing in stature every year. I am really looking forward to experiencing the thrill of a big team competition for the first time - and I want to make sure it will be the
first of many."
Karlsson may have been pipped in Hong Kong, but the Asian players should take careful note of his ability to go low, as shown by his rounds in the low 60s on the first three days.
The 6ft 5in Scandinavian has repeatedly shown he can post scores most other players only dream about. He set European Tour records for the lowest 36 and 54 holes when romping to victory at the 2006 Wales Open, posting scores of 61, 63, and 65, before coasting home with a 'no-risks' 71 in the final round.
He then finished an incredible 25-under-par a few weeks later when winning the Players' Championship of Europe by four shots, and was 23-under when finishing runner-up in the Portugal Masters two months ago.
European Captain Seve Ballesteros has clearly picked two men who are high on confidence, and in ominously good form. They will clearly be worthy opponents for the Asian Team in Bangkok.
The Royal Trophy Sponsors include Heineken, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), PTT, Siam Commercial Bank and Toyota Camry.
For further Tournament information, please call +662 651 9499 or visit the official website www.TheRoyalTrophy.com.
The third edition of the Royal Trophy will be held on January 11-13, 2008 at Amata Spring Country Club in Bangkok, Thailand and is promoted by Entertainment Group Limited and Amen Corner S.A.