Golf: Asian ace Thongchai predicts upset over formidable Europe team at EurAsia Cup

Thongchai Jadee of Thailand during the first round of the World Golf Championships - Accenture Match Play Championship at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain on February 19, 2014 in Marana, Arizona. The captain of Team Asia in the US$4 million (S$5.08 mil
Thongchai Jadee of Thailand during the first round of the World Golf Championships - Accenture Match Play Championship at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain on February 19, 2014 in Marana, Arizona. The captain of Team Asia in the US$4 million (S$5.08 million) EurAsia Cup, which tees off in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, March 27, 2014, says his team stands a good chance of winning the trophy. -- PHOTO: AFP

CONTINENTAL pride is on the line as the US$4 million (S$5.08 million) EurAsia Cup tees off in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

The inaugural three-day matchplay event will see Team Asia, led by Thai ace Thongchai Jaidee, do battle with their European counterparts, skippered by veteran Miguel Angel Jimenez.

Thongchai, who holds an unprecedented three Asian Tour Order of Merit titles, said: "We have a very complete team and I believe we stand a good chance of winning the trophy. It's all about team work and there is a rich mix of youth and experience that will guide the team to victory."

The EurAsia Cup is based on a format similar to the Ryder Cup, where the teams will go head-to-head in the fourball format on day one, foursomes on day two, before culminating with the singles on the final day.

Team Europe will enter as favourites at the Glenmarie Golf & Country Club, backed by the likes of Ryder Cup stars Graeme McDowell and Thomas Bjorn.

World No. 14 McDowell said: "We need this event to become something very special, something the guys look forward to and something that is part of Ryder Cup team-building; a chance to put 10 guys together, come out here and play against a good team and try some pairings and really enjoy playing team golf.

"Team golf is very different - you just don't want to let your team-mates down and there is a lot of extra pressure from that."

With one point awarded for winning a match, a team must garner 10.5 points to lift the Cup on Saturday. If both sides are tied on 10 points each, the trophy will be shared.