Shah Alam (Malaysia), Jan 13 (IANS) Team Asia produced an inspired performance in the Foursomes matches to maintain a one-point advantage over Team Europe at the EurAsia Cup golf tournament here on Saturday.
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 Asia captain Arjun Atwal is confident his team can ink their place in the record books.
“I absolutely believe we can win the EurAsia Cup. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here. That has always been my belief since I took up this captaincy. I’m not surprised or shocked by our results so far. Because if you look at my players, they are fantastic and they are all winners,” Atwal said.
The day’s proceedings did not exactly go to plan for Team Asia as they lost their opening two matches at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
The Indian pair of Anirban Lahiri and S.S.P. Chawrasia lost to Sweden’s Henrik Stenson and England’s Tommy Fleetwood in the first match.
In the second match, Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and South Korea’s Byeonghun An went down to the English pair of Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton.
Belgium’s Thomas Pieters and England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick thought they had struck another fatal blow to Team Asia’s EurAsia Cup title aspirations when they won their match as well.
But the formidable partnership of Malaysia’s Gavin Green and Japan’s Yuta Ikeda, who had earlier won their fourball match, gave Team Asia a huge psychological boost when they beat Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello and France’s Alexander Levy by one hole.
That point sparked a comeback for Asia as Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai and Japan’s Hideto Tanihara showed their putting prowess to bring down Sweden’s Alex Noren and Ireland’s Paul Dunne.
China’s Li Haotong and Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung then completed another memorable day for Team Asia when they won another point by beating England’s Paul Casey and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger.