Europe in command at EurAsia Cup

Britain's Ian Poulter (left) and Austria's Bernd Wiesberger celebrating a point at the EurAsia Cup in Shah Alam on Jan 15.
Britain's Ian Poulter (left) and Austria's Bernd Wiesberger celebrating a point at the EurAsia Cup in Shah Alam on Jan 15.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR • Europe seized a three-point lead on the opening day of golf's EurAsia Cup in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Darren Clarke's team won four of the six matches, the Jeev Milka Singh-led Asia took one, while the other was halved, giving Europe a 4.5-1.5 lead after the opening set of fourballs at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.

"It's been a wonderful start to have a three-point lead but then there were a lot of matches that could have swung either way over the back nine," said Clarke.

Jeev, who competed in the inaugural EurAsia Cup two years ago, admitted that he found it difficult to keep abreast of all six matches.

"I don't think I have ever covered so many miles in a golf buggy on a day before," he said. "My team played well today and I am proud."

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England's Ian Poulter and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger defeated Anirban Lahiri of India and South Korean Wang Jeung Hun 4 and 3 in the opening encounter.

Poulter set the tone for the match at the very first hole by sinking a 20-foot birdie putt.

Europe then gained a second point when England's Ross Fisher and Swede Kristoffer Broberg handing out the biggest defeat of the day, a 6-and-4 drubbing of Thailand's Prayad Marksaeng and South Korea's Kim Kyung Tae.

Thirteen-time Asian Tour winner Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and 2015 European Tour Rookie of the Year An Byeong Hun combined to secure the only Asian victory.

The pair stormed back from two down after 10 holes with An birdieing three of the closing four holes in a 3-and-1 success over the all-England pair of Danny Willett and Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Shane Lowry and Andy Sullivan restored the two-point advantage for Europe with a 2-and-1 win over Wu Ashun and Shingo Katayama, before Soren Kjeldsen and Victor Dubuisson halved their match with Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung.

In the final match of the day, it was more success for Europe as Chris Wood and Lee Westwood beat Kiradech Aphibarnrat and S.S.P. Chawrasia 2 and 1.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2016, with the headline 'Europe in command at EurAsia Cup'. Print Edition | Subscribe