Golf: Ryder stalwarts Westwood and Poulter picked for EurAsia Cup

Ian Poulter at the DP World Tour Championship on Nov 11, 2015.
Ian Poulter at the DP World Tour Championship on Nov 11, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS
Lee Westwood of Britain at the Australian Open Championship in Sydney on Nov 27, 2015.
Lee Westwood of Britain at the Australian Open Championship in Sydney on Nov 27, 2015. PHOTO: EPA

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - European captain Darren Clarke added some formidable golf matchplay experience to his EurAsia Cup line-up on Monday, when he named Ryder Cup veterans Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood as his captain's picks.

The announcement rounds out the 12-man European squad for the Jan 15-17 team event in Malaysia that already had seen young guns such as England's Danny Willett and Frenchman Victor Dubuisson qualify on merit.

"We have a very young and exciting team heading to Malaysia in January, and to add the vast experience of Ian and Lee into the mix gives us a very strong and balanced side as we look to take the EurAsia Cup trophy back to Europe," Clarke said.

The European side also includes Englishmen Ross Fisher, Chris Wood, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Andy Sullivan, Ireland's Shane Lowry, Bernd Wiesberger of Austria, Denmark's Soren Kjeldsen and Swede Kristoffer Broberg.

None of them, however, have the matchplay experience of Poulter and Westwood, who have a combined 14 Ryder Cup appearances.

Poulter, in particular, is noted for his ability to deliver in the Ryder Cup, sparking the stirring "Miracle at Medinah" European comeback in the 2012 edition.

Clarke, who also will lead Europe in next year's Ryder Cup, called Poulter and Westwood "two of the most fearsome match players in the game"

The two Englishmen both said they were relishing the opportunity.

"Playing for my team-mates, captain and the continent of Europe brings a different level of intensity to golf for me and I can't wait to feel that buzz again," Poulter said.

Westwood, who plays well in Kuala Lumpur's heat and humidity, winning the Malaysian Open twice, said he and Poulter "will definitely bring a lot of experience to the team room".

The Europeans will face an Asian team captained by Jeev Milkha Singh of India, who will be unveiled on Dec 15.

Europe and Asia will both be trying to win the EurAsia Cup for the first time after the inaugural edition in 2014, also at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club, ended in a 10-10 draw.