Asian golfers stunned everyone by edging past title holders after the first Day of the Eurasia Cup in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. After the action of Day 1, Asia has a 3 A? – 2 A? advantage over Europe. The Asian players scripted three wins and also a standout performance from Li Haoting putting the hosts in a comfortable position.
Li Haoting of China showed nerves of steel to birdie his final hole and give his team a lead over the opponents. Along with partner Nicholas Fung, Li won the hole to halve the day’s final fourball match against the likes of Spanish Rafa Cabrera ‘Bello and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger. Cabrera Bello’s exceptional play saw them take the lead by one at the 18th tee but eventually they failed to match Asia’s birdie and had to settle for a point.
Belgian Thomas Pieters teamed up with Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick but they were outclassed by the Asian’s Gavin Green and Yuta Ikeda 2 and 1. In another match of the day, Indian pair of S.S.P Chowrasia and Anirban Lahiri lost to English pair of Ross Fisher and Tyrell Hatton with scores of 5 and 4.
British Masters winner Paul Dunne and Alex Noren were down by three down with five to play to play against Thai Phachara Khongwatmai and Japanese Hideto Tanihara. Noren pulled of three bridies to take the match into the final hole, but the Asain par clinched the tie. Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood were one of the better pairs from the European team as they edged past Korean Byeong-Hun An and Kiradech Aphibarnrat 4 and 3.
Thomas Bjorn, Europe’s captain said in an interview prior to the start of the meet that the Asian team is strong and would give them a run for their money. That’s exactly what happened on Day of the competition. “We knew that the pairings from the Asian team would be strong, so we respect what we’re up against and we concentrate on ours, said Bjorg.