Shah Alam: Eight-time Asian Tour winner Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand has been named as the second captain’s pick by Thongchai Jaidee to represent Team Asia in the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM.
The evergreen Prayad received the nod for the final slot in the region’s team which will face the Miguel Angel Jimenez-led Team Europe in the Ryder Cup style showdown at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club from March 27-29.
The 48-year-old Thai produced some of his finest golf when he claimed a memorable Royal double by winning the Queen’s Cup and King’s Cup Golf Hua Hin on home soil which helped him finish seventh on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit in 2013.
“I am thankful that Thongchai has placed his confidence in me as his captain’s pick. I hope to produce my best golf for Team Asia as I believe it will be very important for us to try to beat Team Europe in the first edition of the EurAsia Cup,” said Prayad.
“As professional golfers, we do not get too many opportunities to represent our nation or continent in a team event, so to receive the call from Thongchai to play for Team Asia is truly an honour for me. I believe we have a very strong Asian team and I will fight hard for the team’s pride as we attempt to win the first EurAsia Cup.”
Thongchai believes that his countryman’s presence will add immense value to the team due to his highly successful career which includes three on the Japan Golf Tour.
“I am happy to include Prayad as I think he will bring a lot into the team. He is one of the most successful golfers on the Asian Tour and he showed that to us by winning twice last season, including last month’s King’s Cup Golf Hua Hin,” said Thongchai.
“With the match play format in the EurAsia Cup, I also thought that Prayad’s vast experience in the game and composure will be vital elements that will help our team’s cause. I am confident he will deliver the points for us.”
Asia will be represented by Asian Tour number one Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman, India’s Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar, who all finished as the leading four Asian players on the 2013 Asian Tour Order of Merit.
Korea’s Kim Hyung-sung and Japanese duo Koumei Oda and Hideto Tanihara earned their places through the Official World Golf Ranking while Nicholas Fung of Malaysia was named earlier as a captain’s pick, followed by Prayad and playing captain Thongchai.
Spanish great Jimenez is the playing captain for Team Europe which will include Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, who finished runner-up in the recent WGC-Accenture Match Play, Jamie Donaldson of Wales, Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn, Dutchman Joost Luiten and Scotsman Stephen Gallacher.
Jimenez’s captain’s picks are countrymen Pablo Larrazabal and Denmark’s Thorbjorn Olesen.