Clarke expects no let-up on final day

Team Europe captain Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland (left) answers questions from the media on Jan 12, 2016.
Team Europe captain Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland (left) answers questions from the media on Jan 12, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR • Europe captain Darren Clarke insisted there will be no complacency on the final day of golf's EurAsia Cup, after his team took a commanding six-point lead yesterday.

Clarke's 12-man team doubled their three-point lead from the first round by winning four of the six fourball matches, with one lost and the other halved, for a 9-3 lead over Asia in the sauna-like conditions at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.

Clarke, who is also the European Ryder Cup captain, could not have been more delighted with team linchpins Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, who again won both their matches against Asian Tour rivals.

Europe now need to secure just 31/2 of the 12 points up for grabs in today's deciding singles matches to claim the trophy after the inaugural 2014 tournament ended in a 10-10 draw.

"I am a very excited captain, but this morning Asia came at us strongly. We expected that but the quality of the European guys showed, so I feel very pleased with the result," said Clarke.

"My advice now to the team is that there should be no complacency. I've been in a few Ryder Cup scenarios where we have had big leads and it hasn't worked out.

"But first and foremost I want the guys to go out and enjoy themselves and play well."

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat and India's S.S.P. Chawrasia recorded the Asian team's only victory yesterday, finishing 2-up after a birdie on the last hole against Swede Kristoffer Broberg and England's Chris Wood.

"It was a great way to finish with a birdie but then we both were playing solid golf and really played well as a team," Kiradech said.

Asia captain Jeev Milkha Singh is not conceding defeat just yet.

"In golf anything is possible until the last putt is not holed out," he said.

"I believe that my boys are going to go out there (today) and give it their best shot."


Day 3: StarHub Ch201, 8.30am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 17, 2016, with the headline 'Clarke expects no let-up on final day'. Print Edition | Subscribe