Shah Alam [SELANGOR]: Team Asia go into battle against Europe in the second edition of the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM on Friday eager to settle an old score.
Two years ago, the inaugural showdown ended in a thrilling 10-10 at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club, with Asia producing a miraculous fightback, but team captain Jeev Milkha Singh and counterpart Darren Clarke have been clear in their intent to emerge victorious on Sunday evening.
Singh picked newly installed Asian Tour number one Anirban Lahiri of India for the opening Fourball match tomorrow with Korean Jeunghun Wang while Clarke opted for Europe’s matchplay expert Ian Poulter of England and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.
Asia’s second pairing will also prove a formidable one with the team’s two highest ranked players in the world, Thai star Thongchai Jaidee and Byeonghun An of Korea, partnering to face English duo Danny Willet, who finished second in last year’s Race to Dubai, and Matthew Fitzpatrick.
Local heroes Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung will take on Frenchman Victor Dubuisson and Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark in the third match, Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand and Korea’s K.T. Kim will face England’s Ross Fisher and Kristoffer Broberg of Sweden, Japanese veteran star Shingo Katayama and China’s Wu Ashun will square off against Irishman Shane Lowry and Andy Sullivan of England while India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia and Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand will tackle English duo Lee Westwood and Chris Wood in the bottom match.
Skipper Singh, a former two time Asian Tour number one, said: “I’m really excited about this. In fact, both the teams are very strong. End of the day, I think whoever holes more putts, good course management, that’s where it’s all going to come down to. Both the sides are really experienced. But I still feel my team looks very good. I’m positive, I’m excited, and I believe in my team that they are going to do really well.
“I think my players are going to live up to the pressure to what all they are here for. They are here for a reason. They have earned this. They are good enough to play on the world stage. So I feel that they have got to enjoy this, and they have got to make the most out of it.”
Clarke, who is also lead Europe in the Ryder Cup later this year, is counting on his captain’s pick, Poulter, to deliver the first point for Europe. “I’m very pleased with what I’ve seen – in fairness, it could be any draw. I have that much belief in my team that whatever the draw was going to be,” said Clarke.
“Obviously we all know Poults. We know what he brings to the team. We know what he brings to the team room. And to have him leading off Europe, we couldn’t ask for a better player. With Bernd, you’ve got a very, very young, exciting talent.”
EURASIA CUP PRESENTED BY DRB-HICOM – FRIDAY FOURBALL DRAW
Match 1 > 8:35AM Ian Poulter & Bernd Wiesberger vs Anirban Lahiri & Jeunghun Wang.
Match 2 > 8:50AM Danny Willett & Matthew Fitzpatrick vs Byeonghun An & Thongchai Jaidee.
Match 3 > 9:05AM Victor Dubuisson & Soren Kjeldsen vs Danny Chia & Nicholas Fung.
Match 4 > 9:20AM Ross Fisher & Kristoffer Broberg vs Prayad Marksaeng & K.T. Kim
Match 5 > 9:35AM Shane Lowry & Andy Sullivan vs Shingo Katayama & Wu Ashun.
Match 6 > 9:50AM Lee Westwood & Chris Wood vs S.S.P. Chawrasia & Kiradech Aphibarnrat.