Team Asia's Nicholas Fung (left) of Malaysia and Anirban Lahiri of India during a practice round for the EurAsia Cup golf tournament at Glenmarie GCC in Subang on Monday. The 3-day Ryder Cup-style competition begins on Thursday. - SS KANESAN/ The Star
SUBANG: The hot and humid conditions over the next few days could give Team Asia the edge to beat Team Europe and win the inaugural EurAsia Cup at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
The Indian duo of Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar believe that the heat will favour Asia although Team Europe have the experience and are the favourites for the title.
“We need to turn the microwave up! We are used to these conditions. We play most of our golf in Asia and grew up playing on these grasses. The conditions are in our favour and the people in Asia are behind us.
“We’ve got a lot of things going for us and hopefully we can snowball all these factors into a win,” said Lahiri.
Bhullar and Lahiri have won a combined eight Asian Tour titles in their burgeoning careers and know that victory for Team Asia will enhance their growing reputations.
Bhullar, who has partnered Lahiri in team events like the World Cup, said that the new tournament has brought about some well needed excitement to the game and hoped to see Asia making full use of the opportunity to improve their game.
“This is a different kind of format. I think it is a great sense of achievement for the 10 guys who qualified for Team Asia. We are here to represent the continent. We have been trying to gel together and we have a lot of combinations in the fourball and foursomes. Now we are just waiting for the start of the tournament,” said an excited Bhullar, a five-time Asian Tour winner.
Team Asia captain Thongchai Jaidee explained that the Ryder Cup-style format used is unique to Asian players.
“A format like this is not what we (Asians) are used to. So, there will be pressure on the players as they have to get used to each other’s game to play as a unit. But we have a good and young team and I believe that we stand a chance against the more experienced Team Europe,” said Thongchai.
Lahiri admitted that the format differs from what they have been used to in team events.
“We’ve (with Bhullar) played a lot of team golf together, but like Thongchai rightly pointed out, in juniors and amateur events, you don’t really play foursomes and fourballs, so this is a new format for us.
“The team have been working hard together and when the matches begin, we will all be hoping to create an upset,” he said.
The EurAsia, presented by DRB-HICOM, will see five fourball matches being played on Thursday followed by five foursomes matches on Friday. The final day on Saturday will have 10 singles matches.