Asia holds lead 3 1/2 – 2 1/2 over Europe
Team Asia finished the opening day of the 2018 EurAsia Cup with a 3 1/2 – 2 1/2 lead, thanks to the last hole birdie by Li Haotong.
Team Europe made a shaky start to the Friday’s fourball matches, and which was duly taken advantage by the Asian Team over the defending champions Team Europe. Haotong held onto his nerve to win the hole and halve the match against Rafa Cabrera Bello and Bernd Wiesberger, for the final clash of the day.
There was a point in the game when Team Asia was up in four of six fourballs, before settling for the 3 1/2 – 2 1/2 lead for the day. Indian duo of Anirban Lahiri and SSP Chawrasia lost 5 & 4 to Ross Fisher and Tyrrell Hatton.
Asian Team’s captain Arjun Atwal is content with his team’s performance today and said “We are happy with the way things went today. The early burst provided by Kang and Saksansin helped the entire team.”
“The players are all so happy playing with each other,” added Arjun. “No one wanted a switch, so the same pairs will go out tomorrow and continue the good work.”
European Team saw a tremendous performance from the duo of Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood who put the first point on the board with a 4 and 3 victory over Byeong Hun An and Kiradech Aphibarnrat in match one.
The English duo went two up in first three holes, courtesy of Fleetwood’s birdie on the first and Casey’s long-range eagle-putt on the third, but things changed a bit when the Asian pair won the seventh and the tenth holes to level things up.
Fleetwood’s eagle on the 11th put Europe back on the winning track and they went on to win the 12th, 14th, and 15th for the first point.
“What a blast, what great golf we played, but the Asians threw a lot at us, as well.
“I’m ecstatic to get this going and get a point because it’s going to be a tough week.”
Fleetwood said: “We got up early with a good start but they just came back and hit really good golf shots.
“It’s funny, match play is that kind of game. We didn’t miss any of the real chances that we had. We had some mid-range ones when they were going strong that we didn’t hole, but we were just there all the time.
“There’s always two of us in the hole. We were both playing really good golf, feeding off each other and just generally had a good time together.
“It does help when you’re playing well, but it’s good to get that first point on the board.”
Tommy Fleetwood & Paul Casey win 4&3 against Byeong Hun An & Kiradech Aphibarnarat
Yuga Ikeda & Gavin Green win 2&1 against Thomas Pieters & Matthew Fitzpatrick
Alex Noren & Paul Dunne 2up against Hideto Tanihara & Phachara Khongwatmai
Sunghoon Kang & Poom Saksansin win 5&4 against Henrik Stenson & Alexander Levy
Bernd Wiesberger & Rafa Cabrera Bello match halved against Nicholas Fung & Haotong Li
Ross Fisher & Tyrrell Hatton win 5&4 against Anirban Lahiri & SSP Chawrasia