Shah Alam, Malaysia, December 15: Team Asia Captain Jeev Milkha Singh has announced his 12-man line-up to face Team Europe in the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM next month with new Asian Tour number one Anirban Lahiri of India, Japan’s Shingo Katayama and Thai ace Thongchai Jaidee spearheading the continent’s challenge.
Lahiri, Thongchai, India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia and Malaysia’s Danny Chia earned their places as the leading four Asian golfers on the Asian Tour Order of Merit when qualifying concluded on Sunday while Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Katayama and Korean duo K.T. Kim and new sensation Byeonghun An made it into Team Asia from the Official World Golf Ranking.
India’s Singh has also picked Malaysian Nicholas Fung, China’s Wu Ashun, experienced Thai Prayad Marksaeng and Korea’s Jeunghun Wang as his four captain’s selections to complete his squad who will face a Darren Clarke-led Team Europe at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club from January 15-17, 2016.
“I am delighted to unveil my team which comprises a great mix of in-form golfers, established names and rising stars of the game in Asia,” said Singh in a press conference at Glenmarie today.
“To underscore the strength of Team Asia, six of my team members – Thongchai, Kiradech, An, Anirban, Kim and Shingo – are ranked in the top-60 of the Official World Golf Ranking which is a fantastic reflection of the strength of the game in Asia.
“I believe we have assembled a very strong team capable of defeating Team Europe after the thrilling 10-10 draw in 2014. That will be our mission next month – to win the EurAsia Cup.”
Singh added he would count on many of Asia’s proven champions to deliver the points at the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM, which has been dubbed the Ryder Cup of the East. Team Asia’s 12 members have a combined 92 career victories around the world.
Lahiri was crowned Asia’s number one after winning twice this season while Kiradech, Prayad and Kim also won multiple times over the past 12 months. Thongchai, Asia’s only three-time Order of Merit winner, triumphed in Europe while Katayama, Wu and An, named recently as European Tour Rookie of the Year, have also been victorious this season.
“Many of my team members have won tournaments around the world this year and they have the self-belief, confidence and hunger to excel against the best players in the world,” said Singh, himself a former double Asian Tour number one and multiple champion in Japan and Europe.
“I’m equally excited with my four picks as the quartet will bring various qualities to the team. Nicholas has been in contention on the Asian Tour over the past few months and I believe he will bring a lot of value to my team being the local star.
“Wang is one of the most exciting young golfers to emerge and he missed out on the team by one rung on the Order of Merit, so I felt he deserved a pick. Then, there’s Prayad who continues to defy age by winning twice in Asia and Japan this season and Wu showed his worth by winning his home Open on the European Tour this year.”
The EurAsia Cup will feature 24 matches, with day one showcasing six Fourball matches, followed by six Foursomes matches and 12 Singles matches on the third day.
The winning team will share prize money of US$3.6 million while the runners-up will share US$1.2 million.
Team Europe will feature Danny Willet, Ross Fisher, Victor Dubuisson, Chris Wood, Andy Sullivan, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Shane Lowry, Bernd Wiesberger, Soren Kjeldsen, Kristoffer Broberg, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.
DRB-HICOM Berhad is one of Malaysia’s leading conglomerates with core businesses in the Automotive and Defence; Services; and Property, Asset & Construction sectors. With more than 90 active companies in its stable and over 60,000 employees group-wide, DRB-HICOM’s aim is to continue adding value and propelling the nation’s development. In the Automotive and Defence sector, DRB-HICOM is involved in the manufacturing, assembly and distribution of passenger and commercial vehicles, including composites component supply for aircrafts. In Services, DRB-HICOM is involved in various businesses, including concession and financial-related services. In Property, Asset & Construction, DRB-HICOM is involved in residential and commercial developments.
About Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM)
Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) is a Company Limited by Guarantee, registered on 5th August 2010 in Malaysia. As a non-profit organisation, PGM’s objectives are to promote the sport of golf and to contribute towards its enjoyment and growth as well as to conduct and/or coordinate training on golf-related courses in order to enhance the playing capabilities and hone the skills of professional golfers in Malaysia. Our ultimate goal is to produce good Malaysian Professional Golfers in time for the Olympics in 2016 and to see Malaysians in the world ranking list. The PGM Tour provides a platform for Malaysia’s professional golfers to enable them to focus on playing while PGM shoulders the responsibility of arranging and financing these tournaments. For further information, please log in to http://pgmtour.com.my
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.
About The European Tour
The European Tour is committed to celebrating the game of golf from the origins of the professional game, building a proud history of achievement, sportsmanship and integrity as well as showcasing our diverse global talent and rich landscapes. The European Tour's innovative approach enables us to embrace the world, combining championships of tradition with new tournaments in the cities and countries of the future. The European Tour International Schedule, which from 2009 has incorporated The Race to Dubai, is a thriving global brand which, in 2015, will feature a minimum of 48 tournaments spread across five continents; the European Challenge Tour focuses on the up and coming players of the future; while the European Senior Tour provides a new start for champions celebrating their 50th birthday. The European Tour’s corporate identity features the iconic silhouette image of six-time Open Champion Harry Vardon who gives his name to The Harry Vardon Trophy, presented to the player who is crowned European Tour Number One and winner of The Race to Dubai at the end of the season.