Asia fight back to lead Europe in EurAsia Cup

Bjorn Atwal

SSP Chawrasia and Anirban Lahiri, Asia, 3 and 2.

However, Hideto Tanihara and the 18-year-old Phachara Khongwatmai put Asia back in front with a 2-up victory over Alex Noren and Paul Dunne, leaving it to Cabrera-Bello and Wiesberger to ensure the champions headed into the weekend on level terms.

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.

Team Asia has never led at any stage over their continental rivals in the history of the EurAsia Cup but after holding the lead for two days, team captain Atwal is confident his team can ink their place in the record books.

Defending champions Europe began Saturday's Foursomes trailing Asia 3½-2½ at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club but looked on course to take the lead after they put the first three points on the board.

Despite his win, England's Casey said his opponents fought hard: "What great golf we played, but the Asians threw a lot at us".

Bjorn is also Europe's Ryder Cup captain, and the tournament is a chance for him to test players in a team environment before the showdown against the United States of America in Paris.

"I believe in all 12 of them, as I always will".


As golf in Asia continues to grow at a rapid rate, the amount of players from the region making a positive impact on tours around the world points to a bright future for the sport and adds credibility to the EurAsia Cup.

An ecstatic Arjun Atwal, Asia's captain said, "I have said from the beginning that this team is capable of winning and I have believed in them".

"You saw how early on, everybody was kind of down and losing a few matches early".

"I'm slightly disappointed with the outcome today but I'm sure we can rise to what's ahead of us tomorrow".

Debutants Saksansin and Kang got off to a hot start when they birdied the opening eight holes and completed a remarkable victory on the 14th hole.

But momentum was lost as Asia won the final two matches to keep ahead of Europe.

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.

After halving his match on Friday with a 10-foot pressure putt for a birdie on the 18th in the final action of the first day's fourballs, Li and partner Nicholas Fung beat European pair Ross Fisher and Bernd Weisberger by 3&1 in Saturday's foursomes.

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