Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Asian debutants sparkle at EurAsia Cup

Asian debutants sparkle at EurAsia Cup

Race to Dubai victor Tommy Fleetwood and Henrik Stenson put Europe on the board as they tied the overall score Saturday by handing the visitors a 3 and 2 win over Indian pairing Anirban Lahiri and S.S.P Chawrasia.

The anchor match saw Bernd Wiesberger partner Englishman Ross Fisher, a victor on Friday, against Haotong Li and Nicholas Fung but despite moving 2up at the par five 6th green Asia responded quickly and Li continued his strong putting display from the opening day's play to secure a 3&1 win and maintain Asia's slender advantage heading into Sunday's singles.

Asia bucked the odds and led defending champion Europe 3 1/2 to 2 1/2 after the opening day of the EurAsia Cup on Friday.

Captain Thomas Bjørn insists Europe can mount an impressive Singles charge to overturn Asia's 6½-5½ point lead to lift the 2018 EurAsia Cup.

"I suspect that we'll go out tomorrow and be ready to play, and foursomes is a very different game", Bjorn said.

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"It was a really good morning, we played really solid. Looking forward to the singles and we will see where we are at the end of the day". You can be underdogs on paper, but once the matches start, anything can happen.

The Dane, who is using this event as preparation for Europe's bid to try and win back the Ryder Cup in France later in the year, added: "I learn something every second of the day when I'm a captain, but I don't only do that here".

Europe took the lead at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club after winning its first three foursomes on Saturday, but Asia pulled level before Li Haotong and Nicholas Fung beat Europe's Ross Fisher and Bernd Wiesberger 3 and 1 for the lead.

"I absolutely believe we can win the EurAsia Cup".

Atwal believes his youthful team, which boasts 11 European Tour titles between them, including multiple winners Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand and India's S.S.P Chawrasia, has the strength in depth to turn the contest in Asia's favor.

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Europe had a great start and at one stage it was a sea of blue.

"No-one was like four or five down after five or six holes or anything like that".

Green, who clinched the Asian Tour Order of Merit last month, clinched the match with two birdie putts in the final three holes to give Asia its second point.

Atwal would have been anxious that the scoreline was running away from the hosts but their comeback began with the match of the day as Yuta Ikeda and Gavin Green won three of the final four holes against Levy and Rafa Cabrera Bello to secure a winning point on the 18th green.

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