Asia leads Europe by 1 point after first day of EurAsia Cup

Doug Mendoza
January 14, 2018

Among the notable upsets on Friday were Kang Sung-hoon and Poom Saksansin running Stenson and Alexander Levy off the course after 13 holes, while Fitzpatrick and Pieters fell, 2 and 1, to Ikeda and Gavin Green.

Bjørn said: "We got off to a really good start and things looked like they were going our way and it turned a little bit on its head in the end".

"I suspect that we'll go out tomorrow and be ready to play, and foursomes is a very different game", Bjorn said.

"Definitely everybody knows we are underdogs, except my team", the 44-year-old said.

"We've got to go out and put some blue on that board and try and win the Singles".

Asia ended the day with 3.5 points opposed to Europe's 2.5. "I noticed that every single pairing was comfortable with each other".

"Putting wins matches. If you make putts, you're going to win matches".

Li and Fung were 2-up after the turn but Team Europe bounced back superbly to lead 1-up in their match when they birdied, eagled and birdied the 10th, 11th and 12th holes respectively before Li holed a 15-feet birdie on the 18th hole to snatch a late draw.

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Europe were firmly in control in the early stages Saturday and Asia, who started the day a point ahead, saw their lead vanish as skipper Thomas Bjorn's side won the first three matches.

Though two days of action remain, that the results are even close is a surprise.

The pair of Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Byeonghun An lost their match to Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey 4&3 while Indian duo Anirban Lahiri and S.S.P. Chawrasia was beaten by Ross Fisher and Tyrrell Hatton 5&4.

Le Golf National in Paris will host the 42nd Ryder Cup in September when the Dane will lead a side trying to wrest the title back from the United States, who last won in Europe 25 years ago.

Six players in the world's top 20-Henrik Stenson, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Alex Noren and Paul Casey-are teeing it up, along with young guns like Matthew Fitzpatrick and Thomas Pieters.

The anchor match saw Bernd Wiesberger partner Englishman Ross Fisher, a victor on Friday, against Haotong Li and Nicholas Fung but despite moving 2up at the par five 6th green Asia responded quickly and Li continued his strong putting display from the opening day's play to secure a 3&1 win and maintain Asia's slender advantage heading into Sunday's singles.

They dominated throughout the match, with Kang firing birdies on the first two holes, and Poon scoring a birdie on the 14th.

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