Day Two Report
Team Europe’s dominance of the EURASIA CUP presented by DRB-HICOM continued on day two as Darren Clarke’s men opened up a six point advantage over their Asian counterparts.
Ian Poulter again led from the front as the Englishman partnered his compatriot Danny Willett to a resounding 3&2 success over Byeonghun An and Thongchai Jaidee in the opening foursomes match, and by the time Victor Dubuisson and Søren Kjeldsen had salvaged a half point from their tussle with the Malaysian duo of Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung in the final match left on the course, Europe had established a commanding 9-3 lead.
Perhaps the performance of the day came from Englishmen Matt Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood, who went one down to Anirban Lahiri and Wu Ashun after bogeying the first, but proceeded to rattle off five birdies in sealing a superb 5&4 triumph.
Shane Lowry and Andy Sullivan also continued their impressive form, beating Prayad Marksaeng and Shingo Katayama 3&2 to secure their second victory in successive days.
Ross Fisher and Bernd Wiesberger were also victorious in their match against KT Kim and Jeunghun Wang, beating the Korean pair two up after a closing birdie, but Kristoffer Broberg and Chris Wood succumbed to a final hole defeat to SSP Chawrasia and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
Perhaps the match of the day was between Dubuisson and Kjeldsen and local heroes Chia and Fung, which swung one way then the other before both sides settled for a tie after parring the final hole at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club, in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.
Just 3½ points will be needed in the Sunday singles to ensure victory for Europe, but Captain Clarke is understandably guarding against complacency and was quick to remind his side of the inaugural match, which ended in a tie after Asia mounted a stunning comeback on the final day.
Darren Clarke: “I go back to Brookline in 1999 when we had a big lead and lost. We obviously have a commanding lead right now, but there’s still a lot of golf to play tomorrow against a very strong Asian team. So under no circumstances will we underestimate the challenge that we still have to do. But at the same time I’m obviously delighted for the team that we are in this position.
“There’s no hands on any trophy in any golf tournament until you finish the last hole on a Sunday afternoon. I have been in the game too long to know that, whether it’s a stroke play or a team tournament. I think we’re probably in for another exciting day tomorrow again.”
Ian Poulter: “We played very nicely. We spoke after about five holes, and said it’s all about keeping the pressure on. Don’t give anybody anything – any little window or any little door – and that’s exactly what we did today. We drove it well, and put it in play and only missed a couple of shots between us all day. We holed a couple of nice putts and had them under pressure right from the start.”
Lee Westwood: “Matt did say on TV after the round that he grew up watching me on TV, which made me feel a lot older. I’m always impressed with him, not just today. I saw how good a player he is and I don’t see too many weaknesses in his game.
“He’s gaining in confidence and he’s becoming more knowledgeable all the time. I think he’s a fast learner. If he keeps going the way he is, he’s a really solid, grounded individual and he’s just going to get better.”
Shane Lowry: “Andy is a great lad. We have very similar personalities. We’re kind of happy-go-lucky, and we just get on really well. I said I was surprised early on when I was paired with him, but I wasn’t disappointed. He’s a great player and a great putter. We’ve just gelled really well the last two days, and it was nice to get points for the team. Maybe down the line, I could see myself playing with him again.”
SATURDAY 16th JANUARY
MATCH EUROPE ASIA RESULT
1 I Poulter B H An 3 & 2
D Willett T Jaidee
2 B Wiesberger K T Kim 2 UP
R Fisher J H Wang
3 K Broberg SSP Chawrasia 2 UP
C Wood K Aphibarnrat
4 S Lowry P Marksaeng 3 & 2
A Sullivan S Katayama
5 S Kjeldsen D Chia AS
V Dubuisson N Fung
6 L Westwood A Lahiri 5 & 4
M Fitzpatrick Wu A
POINTS TOTAL 4 ½ POINTS TOTAL 1 ½
Sunday 17th January
MATCH 1: 08.35 Ian POULTER v Danny CHIA
MATCH 2: 08.45 Danny WILLETT v Byeong Hun AN
MATCH 3: 08.55 Andy SULLIVAN v Thongchai JAIDEE
MATCH 4: 09.05 Matthew FITZPATRICK v Kiradech APHIBARNRAT
MATCH 5: 09.15 Shane LOWRY v Anirban LAHIRI
MATCH 6: 09.25 Bernd WIESBERGER v K.T. KIM
MATCH 7: 09.35 Lee WESTWOOD v Nicholas FUNG
MATCH 8: 09.45 Ross FISHER v Jeung Hun WANG
MATCH 9: 09.55 Chris WOOD v S.S.P. CHAWRASIA
MATCH 10: 10.05 Kristoffer BROBERG v Shingo KATAYAMA
MATCH 11: 10.15 Victor DUBUISSON v WU Ashun
MATCH 12: 10.25 Søren KJELDSEN v Prayad MARKSAENG