Golf: Darren Clarke confirms 10 Europe players for EurAsia Cup
- Updated: November 24, 2015
November 24, 2015: Europe captain Darren Clarke unveiled his 10 automatic qualifiers to take on Jeev Milkha Singh’s Asia in the second EurAsia Cup, with Race to Dubai runner up Danny Willett and Ryder Cup stars Victor Dubuisson and Ross Fisher among them.
The three-day event will be held at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur from January 15-17, 2016.
World No. 20 Willett, who pushed Rory McIlroy to the wire in the season-long Race to Dubai after two victories in 2015, is one of five Englishman to qualify as the leading 10 available players from this year’s Race to Dubai rankings.
Fisher has plenty of match play pedigree after representing Europe in the 2010 Ryder Cup and twice in the Seve Trophy. Dubuisson was a revelation in his Ryder Cup debut at Gleneagles last year, notching 2½ points out of a possible three, having represented Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup in March.
Joining them are Andy Sullivan, a three-time European Tour winner in 2015 and runner-up in last week’s DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, and two-time winner Chris Wood, who also featured in the Seve Trophy in 2009 and 2013.
Rising English star Matt Fitzpatrick, 21, will make his event debut after recording 10 top-10 finishes in his rookie European Tour season, which included a superb win at the British Masters.
Others include World No. 21 Shane Lowry of Ireland, who claimed the biggest win of his career to date with victory in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August, and Austria No. 1 Bernd Wiesberger, who captured his third European Tour title in July’s Alstom Open de France.
Four-time European Tour winner Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark, who lifted the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in May and who has featured in two Seve Trophy matches, and Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg, who claimed his maiden European Tour title at this month’s BMW Masters in Shanghai, will also compete in Malaysia.
Clarke, who will announce his two captain’s picks in two weeks’ time, said: “I am delighted with the make-up of the team. It may be a relatively young one, but it is extremely strong and packed with experience. All the players have tasted success and are very talented so there is every reason to go to Kuala Lumpur with confidence.
“The EurAsia Cup also offers many of our players the opportunity to enhance their prospects of making next September’s Ryder Cup team. It’s also a good chance for me to see how comfortable they are with and in a team environment.
“Team Europe have always had a very strong team ethos and I will expect nothing less this time. We know the strength of the Asian side and the difficulty of the task facing us, but I also know our team will be up to the challenge.”
Clarke’s team will attempt to win the EurAsia Cup for the first time after the inaugural contest at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club, held in March 2014, ended in a thrilling 10-10 draw.
With the teams increased from 10 players to 12, the second edition will now feature 24 matches rather than 20, with day one consisting of six fourball matches, followed by six foursomes matches on day two and 12 singles matches on the final day.
The winning team will share prize money of US$3.6 million and the runners-up will share US$1.2 million.
Singh’s team will be formed from the leading four available Asian players from the 2015 Asian Tour Order of Merit as of December 14, the leading four eligible and available Asian players from the Official World Golf Ranking as of December 14 and four captain’s picks.
Source: The European Tour (www.europeantour.com); Editing by SportAsia