Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Europe not underestimating Asia ahead of EurAsia Cup

Europe not underestimating Asia ahead of EurAsia Cup

"We're very well aware that Asia has never fielded a stronger team than they do this time and golf is a unusual game", Bjorn said of an Asian side led by Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, China's Li Haotong and India's Anirbhan Lahiri and captained by Atwal, who has sought pal Tiger Woods's advice on managing different personalities and pairings.

The Wicklow golfer is now seventh on the European Points List and sixth on the World Points List in terms of Ryder Cup qualification, which means he's in the automatic qualification spots for the showdown with America in Paris later this year.

Paul Dunne is the sole Irish representative on the team. Those results were enough to get him into the team for the matchplay competition against Team Asia at Glenmarie Golf Club in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.

Fisher, who starred in Europe's thrilling Ryder Cup win in 2010, said: "I love match play".

Captain Thomas Bjorn promised Europe will return stronger in the six foursome matches on Saturday. Plus, Woods was an assistant captain at the 2017 Presidents Cup and 2016 Ryder Cup.

Seasoned Ryder Cup golfer Paul Casey of England and France's Alex Levy completes Team Europe as the two wildcards picked by Bjorn. So, those 12 players in that room are very well aware that they have to go out and play golf this week.

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"Definitely everybody knows we are underdogs, except my team".

"I think when I played the Asian Tour, the depth of the field wasn't quite as deep as what it is now".

In his third appearance in the EurAsia Cup golf tournament, local professional player Nicholas Fung is hoping that he would get the best pairing to start off his challenge in the championship.

Fitzpatrick, who made his Ryder Cup debut alongside Pieters at Hazeltine, added: "Just to add on Ross' point, I think golf does need a little bit of a different format, maybe more team events, maybe more partner events". "I even wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it". Writing in a player blog on the European Tour website, Dunne says he is fully aware of how this week could impact on his chances of booking a place at Le Golf National later this year. "You can be underdogs on paper, but once the matches start, anything can happen".

The captain is no stranger to success having won the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2003 and enjoying multiple victories across Asia, Europe and the PGA Tour. "What I'm looking for is someone to hit longer for me and that will be easier for me", said the 27-year-old Sabahan.

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