Europe trail at EurAsia Cup

Cheryl Sanders
January 14, 2018

Europe claimed the first three points on the board in Saturday's foursomes but will have to come from behind in Sunday's singles after a late fightback from Asia in the EurAsia Cup.

Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton beat An Byeong-un of South Korea and Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat 2&, while Matthew Fitzpatrick and Thomas Pieters won 3&2 against Kang Sung-hoon and Poom Saksansin.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Alexander Levy appeared to be cruising to victory with a two-hole lead over Gavin Green and Yuta Ikeda after 14 holes, but the Asians won the next three holes and won by one hole.

"I have sermonised them, I have just been speaking to them and making them believe in themselves and to have fun and give their best".

Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn will run the rule over a heavyweight European team when he skippers them against Asia in this week's EurAsia Cup.

After trailing 3 ½ to 2 ½ on Friday's fourballs, Europe drew level through the forceful pairing of Tommy Fleetwood and Henrik Stenson.

In the last edition of the event, a Darren Clarke-captained European team romped to an 18 1/2-5 1/2 blowout win over their Asian counterparts in the second edition of the biennial matchplay contest in 2016.

"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", said Asia captain Arjun Atwal.

Arjun, an eight-time victor on the Asian Tour, also said Thailand's Poom Saksansin and South Korean Kang Sunghoon in match four against Team Europe helped give Team Asia a much-needed early boost.

"We knew this Asian team is very strong and very much ready to play", he told reporters.

Promising young Malaysian Gavin Green, the latest Asian Tour Order of Merit victor, is among a handful on the Asian side playing in the event at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club for the first time.

Bjorn's team managed to get another point from match No 6 through Ross Fisher and Tyrrell Hatton who earned a 5&4 win from Anirban Lahiri and S.P Chawrasia.

Alex Noren and Paul Dunne also lost against Hideo Tanihara and Phachara Khongwatmai by two shots putting Asia in comfortable position.

It is the first time Asia heads into tomorrow's singles with a lead, which while being slender is a massive mental boost for them.

Le Golf National in Paris will host the 42nd Ryder Cup in September when Bjorn will lead a side trying to wrest the title back from the United States, who last won in Europe 25 years ago.

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