Golf: Asia trail Europe by six points in EurAsia Cup

Shah Alam (Malaysia), Jan 16 (IANS) Indian golfer S.S.P. Chawrasia won his foursome match but compatriot Anirban Lahiri suffered another defeat as Team Asia trailed Team Europe 3-9 on the second day of the second EurAsia Cup here on Saturday.

With an arrear of three points from Friday’s fourball session, Asia conceded 4.5 points to Europe in the six foursome play. Chawrasia paired up with Kiradech Aphibarnrat to bag a two-up victory over Kristoffer Broberg and Chris Wood.

England’s Ian Poulter, together with compatriot Danny Willett, secured the continent’s first point in the top match at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.

But it was not all smooth sailing for Darren Clarke’s team, who were trailing in four of the day’s six matches when Poulter and Willett reached the turn. Poulter, who along with Bernd Wiesberger delivered the visitors’ first point in the fourball matches on Friday, was on song again as he and Willett beat Byeonghun An and Thongchai Jaidee three and two.

Shane Lowry and Andy Sullivan combined to deliver a point for the second day in succession, beating Shingo Katayama and Prayad Marksaeng three and two. Wiesberger and Ross Fisher recovered from losing the first hole to beat K.T. Kim and Jeunghun Wang by two holes, while Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick cruised to a five and four win over Lahiri and Wu Ashun.

Victor Dubuisson and Søren Kjeldsen finished all square in their match with Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung for the second straight day while Broberg and Wood lost to Aphibarnrat and Chawrasia in match three.

Clarke, who will also captain Europe in the Ryder Cup in September, is refusing to let his guard down although Europe need only 3.5 points from 12 singles matches on Sunday to win the EurAsia Cup, which was tied 10-10 in the inaugural edition two years ago.

“We obviously have a commanding lead right now, but there’s still a lot of golf to play tomorrow against a very strong Asian team. So under no circumstances will we underestimate the challenge that we still have to do. But at the same time I’m obviously delighted for the team that we are in this position,” Clarke said in an Asian Tour release.

Asia captain Jeev Milkha Singh, a two-time Asian Tour champion, was disappointed with the day’s outcome. But the 43-year-old is confident that his team will pull out surprises like it did in the inaugural edition.

“Looking back two years ago, we were in a similar situation, and the boys pulled through. And I still believe with the pairings that have come out, my boys are going to do well tomorrow. I think in golf, I believe in the saying, anything is possible until the last putt is not holed out,” he said.

He praised Kiradech and Chawrasia, who secured the team’s lone win, and local heroes Chia and Fung, who fought to a half point for a second straight day on the 18th green.

“I think S.S.P. and Kiradech had a perfect combination. Whenever they missed the green, I think S.S.P. came in, or Kiradech came in to save par and make birdies. It was fantastic to watch them,” he said.

World No.43 Lahiri, who has lost his two matches here, said Asia must come out fighting in the singles session.

“Obviously this is an uncomfortable but familiar position to be in. Having said that, I think we have to do what we did the last time around. We have our back against the wall, and I think we have to come out and we have to be inspired,” said the Asian Tour number one.

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