Golf: Captain Singh unveils strong line-up for January’s EurAsia Cup
- Updated: December 15, 2015
December 15, 2015: Team Asia Captain Jeev Milkha Singh announced his 12-man line-up to face Team Europe in the EurAsia Cup next month, with new Asian Tour No. 1 Anirban Lahiri of India, Japan’s Shingo Katayama and Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee spearheading the continent’s challenge.
Lahiri, Thongchai, India’s S.S.P. Chawrasia and experienced Malaysian Danny Chia earned their places as the leading four Asian golfers on the Asian Tour Order of Merit when qualifying concluded on Sunday. Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Katayama and Korean duo Kim Kyung-tae and Ben An Byeong-hun qualified from the Official World Golf Ranking.
Singh picked Malaysian Nicholas Fung, China’s Wu Ashun, Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng and Korea’s Wang Jeung-hun to complete a squad that will face Darren Clarke’s Europe at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club from January 15-17.
“I am delighted to unveil my team which comprises a great mix of in-form golfers, established names and rising stars of the game in Asia,” Singh said at a press conference at Glenmarie.
“To underscore the strength of Team Asia, six of my team members – Thongchai, Kiradech, Ben, Anirban, KT and Shingo – are ranked in the top 60 of the Official World Golf Ranking, which is a fantastic reflection of the strength of the game in Asia.
“I believe we have assembled a very strong team capable of defeating Team Europe. That will be our mission next month – to win the EurAsia Cup.”
Team Asia’s 12 members have a combined 92 career victories around the world. Singh said he would count on Asia’s proven champions to deliver the points at the EurAsia Cup. Lahiri won this year’s Asian Tour Order of Merit with victories in two European Tour co-sanctioned events, while Kiradech, Prayad and Kim also won multiple times over the past 12 months.
Thongchai, Asia’s only three-time Order of Merit winner, won again on The European Tour while Katayama, Wu and An – the 2015 European Tour Rookie of the Year – have also been victorious this season.
“Many of my team members have won tournaments around the world this year and they have the self-belief, confidence and hunger to excel against the best players in the world,” said Singh, himself a two-time Asian Tour No. 1 and multiple champion in Japan and Europe.
“I’m equally excited with my four picks as the quartet will bring various qualities to the team. Nicholas has been in contention on the Asian Tour over the past few months and I believe he will bring a lot of value to my team, being the local star.
“Wang is one of the most exciting young golfers to emerge and he missed out on the team by one rung on the Order of Merit, so I felt he deserved a pick. Then, there’s Prayad who continues to defy age by winning twice in Asia and Japan this season and Wu showed his worth by winning his home Open on The European Tour.”
The EurAsia Cup will feature 24 matches, with day one showcasing six Fourball matches, followed by six Foursomes matches and 12 Singles matches on the third day. The winning team will share prize money of US$3.6 million while the runners-up will share US$1.2 million.
Team Europe will feature Danny Willett, Ross Fisher, Victor Dubuisson, Chris Wood, Andy Sullivan, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Shane Lowry, Bernd Wiesberger, Soren Kjeldsen, Kristoffer Broberg, Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.
Source: Asian Tour (www.asiantour.com); Editing by SportAsia