Shah Alam, Malaysia: January 16: Team Asia Captain Jeev Milkha Singh has rallied his men to re-live the spirit of ’14 as they go into Sunday’s singles session of the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM trailing Team Europe by six points.
Darren Clarke’s men dominated the second day’s foursomes session at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club on Saturday by winning four matches and halving one, with Asia’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and S.S.P. Chawrasia securing the continent’s lone victory.
With 12 points at stake on the final day, Europe only require 3 ½ points to become the first winner of the EurAsia Cup after the inaugural edition ended in a memorable 10-10 draw following a fightback from Asia who trailed by four points going into the singles.
Singh said: “Looking back two years ago, we were in a similar situation and the boys pulled through. And I still believe with the pairings that have come out, my boys are going to do well tomorrow.
“I think in golf, I believe in the saying, anything is possible until the last putt is not holed out. So I'm hoping and I believe that my boys are going to go out there and give it their best shot. I just told them, and I'm going to repeat myself … you know, when your back is against the wall, the only way is up, or you've just got to push yourself. So I think that's what they are going to do. I think there's no other option.
“And they said, ‘yes, we are going to give our best’ and I believe them. They want to go out there and they want to give their best shot possible.”
With an uphill task, Singh, as expected, loaded his singles line-up with players who have shown form at the EurAsia Cup and Malaysian golf fans will be in for a treat with local number one Danny Chia, who is undefeated in two matches, playing the first singles match against Europe’s talisman Ian Poulter.
The second Malaysian, Nicholas Fung, will square off against former world number one Lee Westwood in match seven. Byeonghun An and Thongchai Jaidee, who have one win from two matches each, and Kiradech will feature in the second, third and fourth matches against Danny Willet, Andy Sullivan and Matthew Fitzpatrick respectively while newly installed Asian Tour number one Anirban Lahiri, who has lost two matches here, will face Shane Lowry in the fifth match.
Singh is determined to prevent Europe from grabbing the early points needed to win the EurAsia Cup on Sunday.
“I sent Danny Chia out first. I think he's really playing well, and in front of the home crowds, he's handled himself well. He would be fantastic to go out, because I think the Malaysians are going to cheer him on. I want to get some momentum going for my team,” said Singh.
“And after that, I have loaded the team off with the top players. In the end, I've loaded with some experienced players if it comes down to the wire, and I have a feeling these boys are going to push themselves to the limit.
Singh was full of praise of Chia and Fung again, as the latter needed to hole a pressure-packed six footer for par at the last hole to ensure a half with Victor Dubuisson and Soren Kjeldsen, whom they also halved their fourball match with on Friday.
“Danny and Nicholas, amazing. I think it's great to watch these two. I think when I asked them early, I said, "What do you think about playing with each other?" They said, "We're brothers." I said, "This is it. You're made for each other," and I think they have proven it,” said Singh.
“I think the way they handled themselves was fantastic, especially Nicholas holing the last hole, six-footer, to get half a point for Team Asia, I think that was fantastic to watch.”
Singh, a former two-time Asian Tour number one, is hoping his men will have better joy on the greens on Sunday. “I think the Asian players, my team, where the boys have lacked is putting. I think they have hit the ball really well. I've been watching them and they have missed a lot of putts. I think to get the momentum going, you have to hold putts in match-play situations,” said Singh.
“When you start missing a few early on, it kind of gets a player down, but I've been telling them, ‘I said, you've got to keep your spirits up. You've got to keep going, because it's a new hole. Like when Nicholas missed the putt on 17, I just told him, it's a new hole, 18. You don't need to putt your chin down. Just keep your chin up and you just go out there and do a good job.”
About DRB-HICOM Berhad
DRB-HICOM Berhad (DRB-HICOM) is one of Malaysia’s leading conglomerates with core businesses in the Automotive; Services; and Property, Asset & Construction sectors. With more than 80 active companies in its stable and over 57,000 employees group-wide, DRB-HICOM’s aim is to continue adding value and propelling the nation’s development. In the Automotive sector, DRB-HICOM is involved in the manufacturing, assembly and distribution of passenger and commercial vehicles, including the national motorcycle. 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. Visit www.drb-hicom.com
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. To conduct and/or coordinate training on golf-related courses in order to enhance the playing capabilities and skills of professional golfers, as well as to promote and/or conduct a golf Tour or events as a means to hone their skills and to elevate the standards of the professional golfers in Malaysia. Also, to provide 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.
To achieve these objectives, PGM organises a series of golf tournaments on an annual basis. Last year (2013) PGM hosted 22 tournaments offering prize money of over RM4 million, nine of which were co-sanctioned with the Asian Development Tour and three with the ASEAN Tour.
The schedule for 2014 features 25 tournaments offering prize money of over RM5 million, twelve of which are again co-sanctioned with the Asian Development Tour and three with the ASEAN Tour. The expansion of the Tour on an annual basis and the increased prize money is an indicator of its vibrant growth year-on-year.
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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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. 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 2013, will feature a minimum of 45 tournaments spread across all five continents of the world; 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.