Europeans dominate singles to capture EurAsia Cup

GLEMARIE GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB, KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - 2018/01/14: Team Europe seen posing for the photo to record the great moment afetr they won the EurAsia Cup 2018. Faris Hadziq/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Europeans dominate singles to capture EurAsia Cup

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Europeans dominate singles to capture EurAsia Cup

Europe’s strength and depth ultimately made the difference in the EurAsia Cup, but not before Team Asia gave Thomas Bjorn’s side a scare at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Bjorn’s 12-man team won the match 14-10, but only because of a dominant singles performance. Trailing 6½-5½ after the fourballs and foursomes, Europe took seven of the first eight singles matches to retain the EurAsia Cup, winning the session 8½-3½.

Belgium’s Thomas Pieters earned the winning point with a one-hole victory over Byeong Hun An. There were also singles wins for Alex Noren, Tommy Fleetwood, Henrik Stenson, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Bernd Wiesberger, Alexander Levy and Tyrrell Hatton.

EurAsia Cup rookies Hatton and Fleetwood both won three out of three points. That bodes well for Europe’s Ryder Cup chances against a powerful U.S. squad, as Hatton and Fleetwood are expected to make their debuts this September in Paris.

Europe entered the contest much stronger on paper, with 10 of 12 players inside the World Top 50 compared to just two for Arjun Atwal’s Asian team. However, the home side gave Europe a fright by winning the opening fourball session 3½-2½. The sides shared the foursomes 3-3 before the stronger European team held sway in the head-to-head matches.

“There was maybe a bit of a change in atmosphere in the team room,” Bjorn said. “There was a lot of determination, a lot of willing to go out and win a point, and most of them did that today.”

Bjorn looked in danger of suffering defeat in his first experience of captaining a European team ahead of the real test as captain of this year’s Ryder Cup team. His team came through for him when it mattered.

“I’m very proud of them – a great team, great morale,” he said. “They knew they had to keep going until the end, they knew they were up against something – there was a special atmosphere in that Asian team – and they knew they had to work hard.

“Today, I can only say that every single one of them stood up and did everything they could, and I’m just very proud of these boys. We wanted to win. We didn’t want to travel this far at this time of the year not to win.

“We wanted to come out here and show that European golf is more than 12 strong.” Gwk

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