Cape Town - A full house of 12 European Tour
up the European Team named on Thursday for next year's EurAsia Cup in Malaysia.
by Thomas Bjørn - eight months before he also captains Europe in The Ryder Cup
in France - the European Team will tackle Asia in the third staging of the
The EurAsia Cup once again take place at the Glenmarie Golf and
Country Club in Kuala Lumpur from January 12-14, 2018.
will be looking to retain the trophy they won in convincing fashion in 2016, but will face a strong Asian team on home soil captained by India's Arjun Atwal.
the ten automatic qualifiers from the 2017 Race to Dubai Rankings is Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, who finished European No 1 after a
thrilling end to the season last weekend at the DP World Tour Championship,
Fleetwood as automatic qualifiers are his fellow Englishmen Tyrrell Hatton,
Ross Fisher and Matthew Fitzpatrick, Spain's Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Austria's
Bernd Wiesberger, Ireland's Paul Dunne, Belgium's Thomas Pieters, and the
Swedish duo of Alex Noren and Henrik Stenson.
the European Team are the two wildcard selections named by Captain Bjørn,
Englishman Paul Casey and Alex Levy of France.
will bring vital experience of the match play realm through his Ryder Cup
appearances which included being part of Europe's back-to-back triumphs in 2004 and 2006, while Levy will bring his own particular brand of
Bjørn, who played in the inaugural EurAsia Cup match in 2014 which ended in a
10-10 tie, said: "The interest from the players has been very strong and you
can see that from the fact that the ten automatic qualifiers come from within
the top 20 of the final Race to Dubai Rankings. That is a good indication of
what the EurAsia Cup is becoming, and I think European golf is in a great place
very encouraged by the make-up of the team and we are strong from 1 through to
12. I have some great experience in terms of six players who have experienced
Ryder Cups, as well as the 2016 Open Champion in Henrik. But I also have some
exciting young talent led by Tommy and Tyrrell.
Tommy has had an amazing year and deserved to be crowned European Tour No 1 last weekend. But Tyrrell has also had a great season, the highlights of
which were his back-to-back wins in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and
the Italian Open last month.
captain, I am looking forward to seeing how all 12 deliver on this particular
stage. It's a different kind of format to what they are used to week-in, week-out,
so it will be interesting to see how they react to that environment.
a great honour for me to be captain and I'm looking forward to going to
Malaysia in January to face what I know will be a very strong Asian team. We
want to win the EurAsia Cup again and I believe we are going with a team very
capable of doing that."
Bjørn also expanded on the reasons behind choosing Paul Casey and Alex Levy as
his two wild card selections.
was a really hard task because there are so many good European players to
choose from," said the Dane. "All have legitimate claims and all are well
qualified to be on this team, so it was a tough choice to have to make. But in
the end, I went for Paul and Alex.
Paul announced he was rejoining the European Tour, and therefore making himself
available for selection, that decision was a no-brainer for me. He is a wonderful
player with a lot of experience and I think the young guys can learn a lot from
also got a fantastic match play record and not just in Ryder Cups. He is
comfortable with where he is in his life right now and him wanting to part of
the EurAsia Cup team also shows his commitment to the European Tour and the
road he is now on.
on from that, I picked Alex as he is a player that has impressively risen
through the ranks in the past few years. He has wonderful French character and
flair as well as a lot of attitude and passion for the game. He is also very
consistent which can be a great asset in match play.
have assembled a team which will hopefully go out and retain the EurAsia Cup,
but I also have one eye on next September and selecting Alex will give him a
feeling of being part of what a team event feels like, as I know it's very much
on his mind to try and make The Ryder Cup Team.
to get him into the fold, help him develop, and give him great opportunities
for the future is important. But this is also deserved for what he's delivered
over the past couple of years. He got very close to qualifying for the team
automatically and I think he definitely deserves his chance."
line-ups for the third EurAsia Cup will be completed on Tuesday, November 28
when Arjun Atwal names his Asian team.