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EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM

Round 3 - Europe retain EurAsia Cup 14-10

January 14, 2018

Europe came from behind to defeat Asia 14-10 and retains the EurAsia Cup title Sunday, in a boost for captain Thomas Bjorn as he gears up for the Ryder Cup.

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Bjorn's side entered the final day of the tournament in Malaysia trailing Asia by one point but put on a masterclass in the singles, winning eight out of 12 matches.

It was a disappointment for Indian captain Arjun Atwal's men, as Team Asia had ended the first two days of the event -- which featured foursome and fourball matches -- with a slim lead.

Asia has never won the biennial Ryder Cup-style tournament. Europe thrashed them the last time it was held in 2016 while the inaugural 2014 edition ended in a tie.

Europe dominated from the start Sunday and their winning point came when Belgium's Thomas Pieters defeated South Korea's An Byeong-Hun in a hard-fought match.

Bjorn hailed his side's victory in the $4.8 million event: "It was a great performance today from every single one of them. There was a determination and a will of wanting to win this."

The Dane is also Europe's Ryder Cup captain and the Malaysian event was a chance for him to run the rule over a heavyweight European side before the showdown against the USA in France in September.

"I learned a lot about myself this week," said Bjorn, whose team included six Ryder Cup veterans. "I learned a lot about these 12 players, and they have all got potential to be in Paris in nine months time."

Despite the loss, Atwal said he was "very proud" of his team.

"They are all awesome players, it's just unfortunate that we ran into a buzzsaw today," he said.

"It looked like every time I watched my players, they were hitting the edges and it seemed Europe, every time I watched them, were either chipping in or making birdies."

Bjorn's side, all European Tour winners, won seven of the eight first matches Sunday at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club near Kuala Lumpur.

In his showdown, Pieters started strongly by winning four of the first six holes against An to establish a strong lead but the Korean fought back and levelled the match.

The Belgian scored a seven-foot putt at the 15th to move back out in front before winning another hole, ensuring Europe would retain the trophy.

"It's always nice to get the winning point," Pieters said.

"I got off to a good start, then played pretty poorly during the middle, then made a couple of very good birdies."

Sweden's Alex Noren earlier got the Europeans off to a good start by beating Malaysia's Nicholas Fung 4-2 to level the tournament at 6 1/2 each.

Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello then defeated Malaysia's Gavin Green 4-3, and victories followed for Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, world number nine Henrik Stenson and a host of other Europeans.

Asia salvaged some pride with three points from victories by Thailand's Poom Saksansin, Japan's Yuta Ikeda and China's Li Haotong.

South Korea's Kang Sung-Hoon halved his match with England's Matthew Fitzpatrick.

"It's disappointing that we lost but hopefully two years later, we can win," said South Korea's An. "We're getting closer."

Team Europe
Score
Team Asia
Alex Noren
4 & 2
Nicholas Fung
Paul Casey
1 hole
Poom Saksansin
Tommy Fleetwood
2 & 1
S.S.P. Chawrasia
Henrik Stenson
2 & 1
Hideto Tanihara
Rafa Cabrero Bello
4 & 3
Gavin Green
Bernd Wiesberger
2 & 1
Phachara Khongwatmai
Alexander Levy
3 & 1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Thomas Pieters
1 hole
Byeong Hun An
Tyrell Hatton
2 & 1
Anirban Lahiri
Matthew Fitzpatrick
Halved
Sunghoon Kang
Paul Dunne
3 & 1
Haotong Li

Click here for full scores.

Round 2 - Asia hangs on to lead 6½-5½

January 13, 2018

Asia staged a late comeback to maintain its slim lead over defending champion Europe, 6 1/2 to 5 1/2, on the second day of the EurAsia Cup on Saturday.

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''We came out of the session at 3-3 which wasn't what we were looking for, but we live to fight another day,'' Europe captain Thomas Bjorn said. ''We have got to go out and put some blue on the board and try to win the singles.''

Europe took the lead at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club after winning its first three foursomes on Saturday, but Asia pulled level before Li Haotong and Nicholas Fung beat Europe's Ross Fisher and Bernd Wiesberger 3 and 1 for the lead.

''No one was four or five down after six holes. When you're one or two down in matchplay, you can easily flip that, and they did,'' Asia captain Arjun Atwal said. ''If you asked me if I'm surprised or shocked, I'm not. My guys are all champions.''

After trailing 3 1/2 to 2 1/2 on Friday's fourballs, Europe drew level through the forceful pairing of Tommy Fleetwood and Henrik Stenson.

The pair upstaged India's S.S.P. Chawrasia and Anirban Lahiri courtesy of seven birdies, including a five-foot birdie putt from Fleetwood which sealed the win on the 16th hole.

Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton then gave Europe the lead with a 2-and-1 victory over Kiradech Aphibarnrat and An Byeong-hun, before Matthew Fitzpatrick and Thomas Pieters doubled the advantage by beating Poom Saksansin and Kang Sung-hoon 3 and 2. At this stage, it looked like Europe was ready to pull away.

But Gavin Green, who clinched the Asian Tour Order of Merit last month, and Yuta Ikeda started the comeback, beginning with a 1-hole victory over Rafa Cabrera Bello and Alexander Levy.

The pair, who had beaten Pieters and Fitzpatrick on Friday, gained the upper hand on the 17th when the Europeans bogeyed.

Buoyed by that win, Phachara Khongwatmai and Hideto Tanihara combined to beat Paul Dunne and Alex Noren 2 and 1 to draw the teams level after going two up at the 12th hole, and maintaining par for the point.

Li and Fung regained Asia's lead by brushing aside Fisher and Wiesberger 3 and 1.

There are 12 singles matches on Sunday.

Asia is seeking its first win in the third EurAsia Cup.

Team Europe
Score
Team Asia
Tommy Fleetwood & Henrik Stenson
3 & 2
S.S.P Chawrasia & Anirban Lahiri
Paul Casey & Tyrell Hatton
2 & 1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat & Byeong Hun An
Rafa Cabrero Bello & Alexander Levy
1 hole
Gavin Green & Yuta Ikeda
Matthew Fitzpatrick & Thomas Pieters
3 & 2
Poom Saksansin & Sunghoon Kang
Paul Dunne & Alex Noren
2 & 1
Phachara Khongwatmai & Hideto Tanihara
Ross Fisher & Bernd Wiesberger
3 & 1
Haotong Li & Nicholas Fung

Round 1 - Asia leading EurAsia Cup 3½-2½

January 12, 2018

Asia bucked the odds and led defending champion Europe 3 1/2 to 2 1/2 after the opening day of the EurAsia Cup on Friday.

Embed from Getty Images

With Asia holding the lead on a day of constant drizzle, Li Haotong earned the biggest cheer for the men in red after he birdied the final hole of the final fourball match for he and Nicholas Fung to force a draw against Europe's Bernd Wiesberger and Rafa Cabrera Bello.

Asia seeks its first win in the third EurAsia Cup.

''I don't want to ever sound cocky with a team like Europe, and I'm not going to get cocky, but it's a great start,'' Asia captain Arjun Atwal said.

''I noticed that every single pairing was comfortable with each other. That was my main goal this week, to just go out there and have fun.''

Asia trailed heavily on the first day of the previous competitions in 2014 and 2016, and lost the first match at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club when Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey beat Kiradech Aphibarnrat and An Byeong-hun 4 and 3.

But the Asians leveled through Kang Sung-hoon and Poom Saksansin, who overcame Henrik Stenson and Alexander Levy 5 and 4.

Kang and Poom started with eight successive birdies and went five up in the first seven holes. They secured victory on the 14th hole to send a surge of confidence through the Asian team.

Yuta Ikeda and Gavin Green kept up the momentum to beat Thomas Pieters and Thomas Fitzpatrick 2 and 1.

Green, who clinched the Asian Tour Order of Merit last month, clinched the match with two birdie putts in the final three holes to give Asia its second point.

Europe drew level when Ross Fisher and Tyrrell Hatton brushed aside S.S.P. Chawrasia and Anirban Lahiri 5 and 4.

But Asia went back in front thanks to Hideto Tanihara and teenager Phachara Khongwatmai, who beat Alex Noren and Paul Dunne by two holes.

Captain Thomas Bjorn promised Europe will return stronger in the six foursome matches on Saturday.

''I suspect that we'll go out tomorrow and be ready to play, and foursomes is a very different game,'' Bjorn said.

''We feel like we knew we could find ourselves in this position, and we knew this Asian team is very strong and very much ready to play.''

Team Europe
Score
Team Asia
Tommy Fleetwood & Paul Casey
4 & 3
Byeong Hun An & Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Thomas Pieters & Matthew Fitzpatrick
2 & 1
Yuta Ikeda & Gavin Green
Alex Noren & Paul Dunne
2 holes
Hideto Tanihara & Phachara Khongwatmai
Henrik Stenson & Alexander Levy
5 & 4
Sunghoon Kang & Poom Saksansin
Bernd Wiesberger & Rafa Cabrera Bello
Halved
Nicholas Fung & Haotong Li
Ross Fisher & Tyrell Hatton
5 & 4
Anirban Lahiri & S.S.P. Chawrasia

Scores

Day 1
Team Europe
Score
Team Asia
Tommy Fleetwood & Paul Casey
4 & 3
Byeong Hun An & Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Thomas Pieters & Matthew Fitzpatrick
2 & 1
Yuta Ikeda & Gavin Green
Alex Noren & Paul Dunne
2 holes
Hideto Tanihara & Phachara Khongwatmai
Henrik Stenson & Alexander Levy
5 & 4
Sunghoon Kang & Poom Saksansin
Bernd Wiesberger & Rafa Cabrera Bello
Halved
Nicholas Fung & Haotong Li
Ross Fisher & Tyrell Hatton
5 & 4
Anirban Lahiri & S.S.P. Chawrasia
Day 2
Team Europe
Score
Team Asia
Tommy Fleetwood & Henrik Stenson
3 & 2
S.S.P Chawrasia & Anirban Lahiri
Paul Casey & Tyrell Hatton
2 & 1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat & Byeong Hun An
Rafa Cabrero Bello & Alexander Levy
1 hole
Gavin Green & Yuta Ikeda
Matthew Fitzpatrick & Thomas Pieters
3 & 2
Poom Saksansin & Sunghoon Kang
Paul Dunne & Alex Noren
2 & 1
Phachara Khongwatmai & Hideto Tanihara
Ross Fisher & Bernd Wiesberger
3 & 1
Haotong Li & Nicholas Fung
Day 3
Team Europe
Score
Team Asia
Alex Noren
4 & 2
Nicholas Fung
Paul Casey
1 hole
Poom Saksansin
Tommy Fleetwood
2 & 1
S.S.P. Chawrasia
Henrik Stenson
2 & 1
Hideto Tanihara
Rafa Cabrero Bello
4 & 3
Gavin Green
Bernd Wiesberger
2 & 1
Phachara Khongwatmai
Alexander Levy
3 & 1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Thomas Pieters
1 hole
Byeong Hun An
Tyrell Hatton
2 & 1
Anirban Lahiri
Matthew Fitzpatrick
Halved
Sunghoon Kang
Paul Dunne
3 & 1
Haotong Li

 

 




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