Team Europe captain Miguel Angel Jimenez (left) and his Asian counterpart Thongchai Jaidee had a little competition on a race car simulator on Tuesday before the start of the EurAsia Cup golf tournament at Glenmarie GCC on Thursday. - Asian Tour
SUBANG: Team Europe will be banking on some of their players’ Ryder Cup experience at the inaugural EurAsia Cup which starts at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club on Thursday.
Besides Ryder Cup veteran and Team Europe captain Miguel Angel Jimenez, world No. 14 Thomas Bjorn of Denmark and Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland have also represented Europe in the Ryder Cup.
The others who have been contenders for a Ryder Cup spot previously are Jamie Donaldson (Wales), Victor Dubuisson (France), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spain), Stephen Gallacher (Scotland), Pablo Larrazabal (Spain), Joost Luiten (Holland) and Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark).
The last member of Team Europe is Des Smyth of Ireland.
Jimenez is excited about the new tournament which he said will help forge a greater bond among the players in the two teams.
“It’s great to be here, everything looks in good shape at the golf club and I am really looking forward to the tournament. My mind is focused on winning the first edition. We have a strong line-up and a number of them have had experience playing in this kind of a format,” said Jimenez, a 20-time European Tour winner.
The 50-year-old has a relaxed style of managing his team but the spirit to win has not diminished despite the years.
The competition between the two teams was evident on Tuesday, ahead of the tournament, when Jimenez beat Team Asia captain Thongchai Jaidee on the Formula 1 race car simulator.
“Yes, we are one up on Asia,” he said in jest.
Jokes aside, Jimenez is serious about bagging a win at Glenmarie.
“This is a team event where they have to depend on each other. So naturally there will be some pressure on each golfer,” he added.
The tournament starts with the four-ball format.