Europe brings Ryder Cup feel
Miguel Angel Jimenez’s European Team is ready to replicate its famous Ryder Cup camaraderie at this week’s inaugural EurAsia Cup at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
World number 14 Graeme McDowell, the highest ranked player at the EurAsia Cup, is no stranger to Ryder Cup glory, having holed the winning putt in 2010 and been part of the 2012 team that produced the Miracle at Medinah.
The Northern Irishman, who joined team mates Jimenez, Victor Dubuisson and Pablo Larrazabal at Europe’s first tournament press conference before they take on Thongchai Jaidee’s Asian Team, was keen to stress how important the EurAsia Cup will be for the 10 European Tour players in Jimenez’s team who are all in with a great chance of qualifying for The 2014 Ryder Cup side.
“One of the toughest parts of The Ryder Cup is putting pairings together, and getting foursomes pairings right,” said McDowell.
“That’s why a tournament like this, the EurAsia Cup, to me is something that’s very, very important for both The European Tour and the Asian Tour. Asia is the main area of growth for the game of golf in the world, so it’s a natural place for The European Tour.
“It’s obviously a big part of The European Tour and to have a Europe versus Asia match is something that our schedule needs from a Ryder Cup point of view. 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 ten 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 from what we are used to as individuals because you’re playing for each other. You just don’t want to let your team mates down and there is a lot of extra pressure from that, but it’s also one of the main reasons why European Teams have been so successful.”
Jimenez, who has played in four and won two Ryder Cups as well as twice been a Vice Captain, was quick to agree.
Asked what his hopes were for the future of the tournament, the Spaniard replied: “Well The Ryder Cup started in 1927 and probably now is the event in golf and everyone wants to play and I think is the important thing. Now we start the EurAsia Cup in 2014 and hopefully with the support of the players and the effort of these two big tours, the EurAsia Cup will become a big event along with The Ryder Cup.”
Team Asia captain Thongchai Jaidee, meanwhile, has vowed to launch an all-out attack against Team Europe.
“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,” said Thongchai.
“Europe has a very strong team. Graeme McDowell has a good track record in Match Play and Miguel, with his vast experience, is a good captain. But I know our team has what it takes to win this tournament and I’m confident.”
The format of play for the EurAsia Cup will see five fourball matches being played on the first day (March 27, Thursday) followed by five foursomes matches on day two (March 28, Friday) and 10 singles matches on the final day (March 29, Saturday) at Glenmarie’s Garden course.
The EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
Thongchai Jaidee (Captain, Thailand), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand), Gaganjeet Bhullar (India), Nicholas Fung (Malaysia), Kim Hyung-sung (Korea,) Anirban Lahiri (India), Prayad Marksaeng (Thailand), Koumei Oda (Japan), Siddikur Rahman (Bangladesh), Hideto Tanihara (Japan).
Miguel Angel Jimenez (Captain, Spain), Thomas Bjorn (Denmark), Jamie Donaldson (Wales), Victor Dubuisson (France), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spain), Stephen Gallacher (Scotland), Pablo Larrazabal (Spain), Joost Luiten (Netherlands), Graeme McDowell (N Ireland), Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark).
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