SHAH ALAM – Team Asia’s captain Arjun Atwal has issued a strong statement of intent for the EurAsia Cup 2018 by fielding his strongest pairings in tomorrow’s opening fourball matches.
“The matches look pretty balanced but the players in my team are all champions and they know how to win. If you come into our team room, you’ll see their banners with every one of them holding trophies.
“It takes a lot of guts and hunger to win a golf tournament, and all 12 of my players have it,” said Arjun in a press conference after the event’s opening ceremony and players’ draw at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club, here today.
Having drawn 10-10 in the inaugural edition in 2014 and going down five-and-a-half to 18-and-a-half in 2016, Arjun, who is captaining the side for the first time, is eager to set the record straight with a win.
“My inspiration for them is like I said, just have fun. Have fun and be aggressive, you know, because it is match play. I just want all 12 guys to switch their mind, right, like before the first practice round, to get into that match play mode.
“It’s very hard for professional golfers to week in and week out play stroke play events where we have to manage a golf course but tomorrow, they have to beat the guys they are playing. So that mind set is what I’m trying to instill in them and just go out there and just full guns. That’s it,” said Arjun.
The Indian, who won the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2003, is counting on South Korea’s An Byeong-hun and Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat to deliver the first point in their opening match against England’s duo, Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey.
Team Asia’s second pairing of Japan’s Yuta Ikeda and Malaysia’s Gavin Kyle Green will also prove to be a formidable one as Ikeda, the highest ranked Asian player in the world ranking and is poised to strike a decisive partnership with Green, Asian Tour’s Order of Merit champion as they attempt to take down England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick and Belgium’s Thomas Pieters.
Arjun picked Japan’s Hideto Tanihara and Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai for the third match and South Korea’s Kang Sung-hoon and Thailand’s Poom Saksansin for the fourth match.
Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung paired up with China’s Li Haotong will then square off against Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger while the Indian duo of Anirban Lahiri and S.S.P. Chawrasia will try to wrap up the points for Team Asia in their last match against English duo Ross Fisher and Tyrrell Hatton. – BERNAMA