Malaysia's Nicholas Fung (left) shakes hands with Team Asia captain Thongchai Jaidee after the former was named the captain's pick for the EurAsia Cup match-play tournament between Asia and Europe beginning on March 27 at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: Nicholas Fung is determined to shine for Team Asia and repay captain Thongchai Jaidee’s faith in him at the inaugural EurAsia Cup against Team Europe later this month.
The 23-year-old is ready to rise to the occasion in the Ryder Cup-style showdown at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club from March 27-29 against the Miguel Angel Jimenez-led European side which includes Graeme McDowell, Thomas Bjorn and Jamie Donaldson, who finished tied second at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship on Sunday.
Nicholas said he enjoys the pressure of match play situations, especially because his first professional victory came at a match play tournament in Vietnam.
“My first pro win (in 2010) was in a match play event. As I was still a new pro golfer, I never thought I would win but I started winning all my matches.
“During my amateur days, I played for my state and country in numerous events and I think I’ve only lost one match during that time. There is so much pressure as you don’t want to lose your match or let the team down. But I like it.”
Thongchai, who finished tied sixth at the Cadillac Championship over the weekend, picked Nicholas and countryman Prayad Marksaeng as his two captain’s picks.
Nicholas said it would be his ultimate goal to deliver three points for Team Asia in the fourball, foursomes and singles matches.
“It will be important to win all my matches.
“It will be tough against Europe but I’m determined to play my best. I’m really proud to be picked for Team Asia. I’m sure I will be nervous on the first tee but I guess I’ll have to deal with it.
Nicholas is ready to put up a bold front when he dons the Team Asia apparel. The last character of his Chinese name – Fung – means “brave” and he knows he must show courage during the EurAsia Cup matches.
“As I’m a small guy, I need to show my fighting spirit. During my amateur days, the other players were hitting the ball much farther than me but I made up for it by playing hard and with a good short game,” said the Malaysian, whose full name is Nicholas Fung Chee Yung.
Last year, he won the Asian Development Tour (ADT) Order of Merit, following one victory and three runners-up finishes. He also finished tied sixth and runner-up at the Resorts World Manila Masters and Indonesia Open respectively to earn his Asian Tour card after finishing in 36th place on the Order of Merit, performances which caught Thongchai’s eye.
“My goal is to get into the world’s top 100 and then slowly move up higher. My aim is to win one tournament on the Asian Tour this year and also on the Asian Development Tour,” said Nicholas, who is currently ranked 244th.
“With my full exemption on the Asian Tour, I can now play in Switzerland and Japan in the co-sanctioned events. It will be a good experience for me. But right now, my thoughts are on the EurAsia Cup and to ensure that Team Asia wins the first edition.”
The format of play will see five fourball matches being played on the first day (March 27) followed by five foursomes matches on March 28, and 10 singles matches on March 29 at the Glenmarie Garden course.
Tickets are RM78 for each of the three days or RM158 for the season ticket (all three days). Entry is free for children under 16 for all three days. There is also no fee for those watching the pro-am event on March 26.
Tickets can be purchased via www.ticketpro.com.my or by phone at (03) 7880 7999.