Europe trail in EurAsia Cup


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.

Asia needed something special to stop the rot and the Japanese-Malaysian pairing of Yuta Ikeda and Gavin Green stepped up to the plate by winning three of the last four holes for a rousing 1-up win over Alex Levy and Rafa Cabrera.

Asia made a strong comeback after trailing early to split Saturday's EurAsia Cup foursomes with Europe as the hosts maintained a one-point lead over the defending champions going into the final day's 12 singles matches.

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.

"We're not underestimating this team by any means", said Casey, who won his match with Fleetwood and is representing Europe for the first time in nearly a decade.

"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.

That has left Asia well-placed to win the event for the first time heading into 12 singles matches on Sunday. "I noticed that every single pairing was comfortable with each other".

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They now lead the competition which is being held at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club with six-and-a-half points after two days, while Team Europe also added three points to settle with five-and-a-half points.

"It was nice to see Paul (Casey) come back into the fold of European golf and go out and being determined at delivering a performance that's just world class".

Paul Dunne had a disappointing opening day when, paired with Alex Noren, they lost by two holes to Hideto Tanihara and the 18-year-old Phachara Khongwatmai.

Sunghoon Kang and Poom Saksansin, Asia, def. Alexander Levy and Henrik Stenson, Europe, 5 and 4.

For a European team that was drubbed at the last Ryder Cup, this was not the start captain Thomas Bjorn needed.

"You can do all the preparation and put everything in place, but it's for them to go and play the golf".

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.