Shah Alam [SELANGOR]: An emphatic Sunday singles display by Team Europe saw off a valiant Team Asia in the third edition of the US$4.8 million EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM.
After trailing Team Asia over the last two days, Thomas Bjørn’s visitors won seven of their first eight matches on Sunday to successfully complete the defence of their crown with several matches still out on course at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
Europe ran out 14-10 winners eventually after securing eight wins in the singles session, with Arjun Atwal’s charges managing just three wins and a halve in the other match.
Sweden’s Alex Noren set the ball rolling for Europe, beating local star Nicholas Fung 4&2 in the lead match to level the tournament at 6½-6½.
Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello then beat Asian Tour number one and Malaysian hope Gavin Kyle Green 4&3 before Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood made it three in a row with a 2&1 victory against India’s S.S.P Chawrasia
Thailand’s Poom Saksansin cut the deficit when he beat Englishmen Paul Casey by one hole but the Swedish Iceman Henrik Stenson soon put another blue point on the board, beating Hideto Tanihara of Japan 2&1.
Austrian Bernd Wiesberger and Frenchaman Alexander Levy then closed out their wins against thais Phachara Khongwatmai and Kiradech Aphibarnrat respectively to put Europe within a single point of victory.
Belgian Thomas Pieters raced to a 4-up lead against An but the South Korean fought back to level the match. Pieters then holed a seven-foot putt at the 15th to regain the lead and then won the next hole to ensure his team would retain the trophy.
Englishman Tyrrell Hatton then beat Anirban Lahiri of India 2&1 before compatriot Matthew Fitzpatrick halved his match against Sunghoon Kang of Korea.
Asia won the final two matches – with Li Haotong and Yuta Ikeda beating Paul Dunne and Ross Fisher respectively.
“It was a great performance today from every single one of them, they came off the golf course yesterday and there was a determination and a will of wanting to win this,” said skipper Bjørn.
“From there, to then go out and do the job the way they did today shows a lot about the character of these 12 guys and it shows a lot about the character of European golf and it shows a lot about what we are,” added the Dane.
The victory will come as a welcome boost for Bjørn, who will also captain the continent at the Ryder Cup in France this September.
“[Winning] moments like this week and the way we are as a tour and the way our players are with each other, I see no reason why we can’t go into The Ryder Cup with our heads held high and believe that we can get a result on a golf course that we know very well and in a place that’s going to be our backyard.”