Team Europe retain title, Team Asia fought hard

SHAH ALAM: The Thomas Bjorn-led Team Europe put on a strong challenge in the final round of the 2018 EurAsia Cup, presented by DRB-Hicom, and comfortably outclassed Team Asia to retain the title for the second time at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club, here today.

Team Europe surged from a one point deficit after two days of competition and added eight-and-a-half points from today's singles event, for an overall 14 points to win the tournament by four points.

In today's final round, Team Asia managed to add three-and-a-half points for a three-day total of 10 points.

"It was a fantastic first couple of days. These kind of events always become closer than you think sometimes, and that's always good to know.

"When you go out there as a team, you've got to play. You play for very few points the first two days and then you play for a lot of points on Sunday, and that's the way these events are. It can swing very much on the last day and we showed today that if you are good and strong on Sundays, you can win these things," said the 46-year-old, who has 15 European Tour titles to his cap.

The Dane, who will be the captain for Team Europe at the Ryder Cup, noted that his 12 players had the potential to be selected for the team.

"I learned a lot about these 12 players, and they have all got potential to be in Paris in nine months time," he said.

"It's a different role (captaincy for Ryder Cup). There's a lot of decisions to be made, and you're expected to be everywhere at any given time, and that's extremely difficult. But I learned a lot about myself this week. That's all part of the learning curve, and I'm delighted that I took on this job because for a lot of reasons going forward, it will do me a lot of good," he added.

As for the winning team, Team Europe members will share the prize money of US$3.6 million (RM14.3 million), while Team Asia, led by Arjun Artwal, as the runners-up will share US$1.2 million (about RM4.8 million).

Meanwhile, Team Asia's captain Arjun was proud with his team's performance, despite losing to Team Europe in the final round after leading the competition in the first two days.

"Very proud, actually. They are a great group of guys. They are all awesome players. It's just unfortunate that we ran into a buzzsaw today.

"You know, it was tough, with almost every match, we didn't make enough putts. It looked like every time I watched my players, they were hitting the edges and it seemed like Europe, every time I watched them, they were either chipping in or making a lot of birdies. It's tough to beat them when they are doing that. We are very, very proud of every single one," said Arjun.

He noted that compared to Team Asia, Team Europe was more experienced in matchplay golf competition.

"In golf, Asia are still young in the world golf scene if you look at it that way. But just talking about this whole competition today, I don't think it had anything to do with experience. Like I said, we just got outplayed by them, that was it. It was as simple as that," he said.

After three successful editions of the EurAsia Cup hosted by Malaysia, the next host of the biennial event is yet to be determined. — Bernama