Europe promise no let up in EurAsia Cup

2016-01-16 11:28
Darren Clarke (Supplied)

Kuala Lumpur - European captain Darren Clarke insisted there will be no complacency on the final day of the EurAsia Cup after his team took a commanding six-point lead in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

Clarke's 12-man team doubled their three-point lead from the first round by winning four of six fourball matches, with one lost and the other halved, for a 9-3 advantage in the sauna-like conditions at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.

Clarke, who is also the current European Ryder Cup captain, could not have been more delighted with team lynchpins Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter who again won both their matches against Asian Tour rivals.

Europe now needs to secure just 3.5 of the 12 points up for grabs in Sunday's deciding singles matches to claim the trophy after the inaugural 2014 tournament ended in a 10-10 draw.

"I am a very excited captain but this morning Asia came at us strongly, and we expected that, but the quality of the European guys showed as they just knuckled down, fought hard so I feel very pleased with the overall result," said Clarke.

"My advice now to the team is that there be no complacency. I've been in a few Ryder Cup scenarios where we have had big leads and it hasn't worked out.

"But first and foremost... I want the guys to go out and enjoy themselves and go and play well."

Saturday's second round commenced with Europe leading 4.5-1.5 over Asia.

And for the second day running Poulter, a veteran of five Ryder Cup campaigns, set the tone, teaming up with fellow Englishman Danny Willett, to win 3&2 over Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee and An Byeong-Hun from South Korea.

In a 10-minute period Europe then secured three quick points to race ahead 8.5-1.5 as Bernd Wiesberger of Austria and England's Ross Fisher won 2-up over the Korean pairing of Kim Kyung-Tae and Wang Jeung-Hun.

Lee Westwood and 21-year-old Matthew Fitzpatrick snatched the biggest win of day two with a 5&4 triumph over Asian Tour number one Anirban Lahiri from India and China's Wu Ashun.

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat and India's SSP Chawrasia recorded the Asian team's only victory, finishing 2-up after a birdie on the last hole against Swede Kristoffer Broberg and England's Chris Wood.

"It was a great way to finish with a birdie but then we both were playing solid golf... and really played well as a team," Aphibarnrat said.

Ireland's Shane Lowry and Andrew Sullivan from England stayed unbeaten in the team format, winning 3&2 over Thailand's Prayad Marksaeng and Japan's Shingo Katayama.

The final match of the day -- with Soren Kjeldsen from Sweden and Frenchman Victor Dubuisson playing Malaysians Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung -- was halved.

Read more on:    darren clarke  |  golf


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