Team Asia's Anirban Lahiri (left) of India and Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman giving the thumbs-up after beating Team Europe's Victor Dubuisson of France and Joost Luiten of Holland.
SUBANG: Team Asia finally came alive on the second day of the EurAsia Cup, winning three out of five points in the foursomes at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
The Asians were pulverised 5-0 by Team Europe in the fourball opening day on Thursday, but staged a stirring fightback on Friday to win 3-2 to trail 7-3 with one more day to go. It could have been closer but Team Asia let victory slip from their hands in the other two matches.
Team Asia captain Thongchai Jaidee again partnered compatriot Kiredech Aphibarnrat in the first match of the day. In a closely-contested affair, the Thais were one-up going into the 18th hole. But Team Europe captain Miguel Angel Jimenez and his fellow Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal birdied the last hole to halve the match.
Team Asia, however, did not have to wait long to secure their first full point. The Thai-South Korean combination of Prayad Marksaeng-Kim Hyung-sung proved too strong for the Danish duo of Thomas Bjorn-Thorbjorn Olesen, winning 4 & 3.
In the third match, the Asians were again in the lead with the Japanese pair of Koumei Oda and Hideto Tanihara one-up at the 16th hole.
But Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Stephen Gallacher pulled off a birdie at the 17th to draw level. Both sides parred the 18th to halve the match.
The fourth match went the Asians’ way with Anirban Lahiri and Siddikur Rahman winning by one hole against Team Europe’s Victor Dubuisson-Joost Luiten.
In the final match of the day, Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung and Indian Gaganjeet Bhullar were one-up until the12th hole. But the Asians collapsed dramatically with bogeys at the 13th, 15th and 16th holes to allow Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson to grab Team Europe’s only full point of the day with a 2 & 1 win.
World No. 14 McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion, said the sole point was crucial for Team Europe.
“We started off slowly and towards the end managed to get better. We knew that the point had to be won and I believe that we have a good chance to get the winning numbers tomorrow. We are just four points from taking the title,” said the Northern Irishman.
Jimenez was pleased with his team’s showing.
“At the end of the day, I’m happy. It’s good to halve a couple of matches. It was a tough day with the heat and they (Team Asia) played very well today. This is match play, and playing foursome is tough. At one point, it looked like it was going to be another lopsided match like yesterday, but we managed to get the points and that’s good,” said the 50-year-old Spaniard.
The tournament, presented by DRB-Hicom, ends on Saturday with 10 singles matches.