Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung is determined to shine for Team Asia and repay captain Thongchai Jaidee’s faith in him at the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM against Team Europe later this month.
The 23-year-old Fung is ready to rise to the occasion in the Ryder Cup style showdown at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club from March 27-29 against the Miguel Angel Jimenez-led European side which includes Graeme McDowell, Thomas Bjorn and Jamie Donaldson, who finished tied second at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship on Sunday.
Fung said he enjoys the pressure of match play situations, especially when his first professional victory came at a match play tournament in Vietnam.
“My first pro win (in 2010) was in a match play event. As I was still a new pro golfer, I never thought I would win but I started winning all my matches. In the quarterfinals, I was three down through 13 holes but I told myself that I still had five holes to play and then I made five birdies in a row to win the match,” said Fung.
“I do enjoy playing match play. During my amateur days, I played for my state and country in numerous events and I think I’ve only lost one match during that time. There is so much pressure as you don’t want to lose your match and let the team down. But I like it.”
Thongchai, who finished tied sixth in the United States over the weekend, picked Fung and countryman Prayad Marksaeng as his two captain’s picks. Fung said it would be his ultimate goal to deliver three points for Team Asia in the fourball, foursomes and singles matches.
“It will be important to win all my matches,” he said. “It will be tough against Europe but I’ll be determined to play my best. I’m really proud to be picked for Team Asia. I’m sure I will be nervous on the first tee in the first day of the event but I guess I’ll have to deal with it.”
Fung is ready to put up a bold front when he puts on the Team Asia apparel. The last character of his Chinese, Yung, means ‘brave’ and Fung knows he must show courage during the EurAsia Cup matches.
“As I’m a small guy, I need to show my fighting spirit. During my amateur days, the other players were hitting the ball much farther than I was but I made up for it by playing hard and with a good short game,” said the Malaysian, whose full name is Nicholas Fung Chee Yung.
“I am sure there will be a lot of local support when the EurAsia Cup starts. A lot of my family members and friends are already making plans to fly from Kota Kinabalu to Glenmarie to support Team Asia which will be great,” said Fung.
Last year, he won the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit following one victory and three runner-up finishes. He also finished tied sixth and runner-up at the Resorts World Manila Masters and Indonesia Open respectively to earn his Asian Tour card after finishing in 36th place on the Order of Merit, performances which caught Thongchai’s eye.
“My goal is to get into the world’s top-100 and then slowly move up higher. My aim is to win one tournament on the Asian Tour this year and also win on the Asian Development Tour as well,” said Fung, who is currently ranked 244th.
“With my full exemption on the Asian Tour, I can now play in Switzerland and Japan in the co-sanctioned events. It will be good experience for me. But right now, my thoughts are on the EurAsia Cup and to ensure that Team Asia wins the first edition.”
Tickets for the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM are available for purchase via online and hotline. Golf fans can purchase tickets on www.ticketpro.com.my
or call +603 7880 7999 for further details.
Tickets are priced as follow: Day 1 RM78, Day 2 RM78, Day 3 RM78 and Season Ticket RM158. Entry is free for children under the age of 16. Entry is free to all on March 26, Wednesday which is the pro-am day.
Each ticket will include a voucher for a free EurAsia Cup team cap. This can be redeemed on site at the EurAsia Cup at the Official Merchandise shop at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
The format of play for the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM will see five fourball matches being played on the first day (March 27, Thursday) followed by five foursomes matches on day two (March 28, Friday) and 10 singles matches on the final day (March 29, Saturday) at Glenmarie’s Garden course.
The EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour. Professional Golf Malaysia (PGM) will act as the local facilitator for the event.
Thongchai Jaidee (Captain, Thailand), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand), Gaganjeet Bhullar (India), Nicholas Fung (Malaysia), Kim Hyung-sung (Korea,) Anirban Lahiri (India), Prayad Marksaeng (Thailand), Koumei Oda (Japan), Siddikur Rahman (Bangladesh), Hideto Tanihara (Japan).
Miguel-Angel Jimenez (Captain, Spain), Thomas Bjorn (Denmark), Jamie Donaldson (Wales), Victor Dubuisson (France), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spain), Stephen Gallacher (Scotland), Pablo Larrazabal (Spain), Joost Luiten (Netherlands), Graeme McDowell (N Ireland), Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark).