Asia fight back to share inaugural EurAsia Cup with Europe
KUALA LUMPUR, // Team Asia pulled off a stirring comeback in the final round of the inaugural EurAsia Cup to snatch a share of the trophy by taking six of 10 singles matches played yesterday.
The spectacular collapse of Team Europe was one that no one had expected.
Asia had put together a marvellous fightback on the second day when they clawed their way back after a 5-0 thrashing in the four-balls on Thursday, but Europe looked to still be in the driver’s seat going into the final day ahead 7-3.
It had echoes of Europe’s “Miracle of Medinah” at the last Ryder Cup in 2012 when they fought back from 10-6 down on the final day to beat the Americans 14.5-13.5.
The outcome will go some way towards helping raise the profile of a tournament clouded by a war of words between its organisers and those who stage the rival Royal Trophy competition.
None epitomised Asia’s desire more than Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng who fought back from four down after the first nine, to halve with world No 28 Jamie Donaldson in the fourth matchup of the day at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club, Kuala Lumpur.
With the European players unable to find their range, Asia drew level at 8.5 after winning five of the first seven ties and halving one.
Only European captain Miguel Angel Jimenez held his nerve as he edged Malaysian Nicholas Fung at the last hole.
Asian captain Thongchai Jaidee attributed the players’ “positive attitudes” as the reason for the improbable comeback.
“We had a team talk the day before and I told them anything is possible in golf,” he said.
“They also believed in themselves even though we were trailing by four points.”
Jimenez doffed his hat at Asia’s incredible fightback after “an amazing day of golf”.
“The Asian team played very well. To win six matches and get seven points from 10 showed that golf is very competitive and healthy,” said Jimenez, who may be Europe’s Ryder Cup vice-captain in September, if he fails in his bid to make the team as a player.
The players and officials held a moment of silence for the passengers and crew of missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight before prime minister Najib Razak presented the prizes.
Najib also confirmed Malaysia will host the next two editions of the EurAsia Cup in 2016 and 2018.
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Published: March 29, 2014 04:00 AM