Saturday, 29 March 2014 | MYT 6:58 PM
Thongchai praises Asian players and fighting spirit
SUBANG: Team Asia captain Thongchai Jaidee believes that fielding the right players in the singles event proved to be the winning factor as they fought back to share the inaugural EurAsia Cup with Team Europe at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
He also paid a glowing tribute to the fighting spirit of the Asian players and felt that all of them carried the team through to become joint champions on Saturday.
“I think in our meeting with them together (Asia players) who is going to play first, who is going to play last, thinking about ... I know the guys are awesome but you never know in this format who is going to play and if we put the right players we can win,” said Thongchai.
“Luckily, we got seven points today and very, very good comeback. I’m thinking about how to push up and try everything and attack and also you have to be positive. Every one of our players had it in him to win and that’s what they did.
“I would like to say thank you to our team for a good job. I’m really proud of them.”
Team Europe captain Miguel Angel Jimenez also paid tribute to his players and felt that Team Asia played well to tie the tournament with them.
“It’s an amazing day of golf. It’s been very tough. In the end, we finished 10‑10. Looks like at the end of the week, Team Europe did not win (the) tournament ... but I would say that there is still more golf to play, Team Asia played very well,” said Jimenez.
“They won six matches today and it showed that golf is very healthy all over the world.
“All the players played well and gave me everything they had. I have the highest respect for the players ... It was a pleasure to be here with them this week.
“As I said at the prize-giving ceremony, you know, Asia, Europe, they both win, they both win, nobody lose. I hope the tournament can continue to grow.”
Jimenez and Joost Luiten were the only European winners in the singles session while Jamie Donaldson and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano halved with Prayad Marksaeng and Hideto Tanihara respectively.
World No. 14 Graeme McDowell was also pleased with the final result, saying it was a good preparation for the Ryder Cup later in the year.
“I think this is a very important team-building exercise in a Ryder Cup year for the European Team. Having captain Paul McGinley here this week was very important to us as European players,” said McDowell.
“A couple of the boys sitting up here are pretty much locked into the Ryder Cup team in September, and you know, it’s great to get out there and see some pairings, put together in foursomes and some better‑ball pairings.
“Team golf is very special. It brings players so close together. You experience a lot, and it was very exciting out there. You know, let’s hope this event can go from strength‑to‑strength and really establish itself as a big match.
“You know, I think we all, as a team, enjoyed the week and certainly it got what it deserved in a very, very exciting finish and two very evenly‑matched teams in the end.”