Europe stay on course despite Asia fightback


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The Independent Online

Europe will take a 7-3 lead into the final day of the inaugural EurAsia Cup today, despite a spirited fightback from Asia in Kuala Lumpur.

After being whitewashed 5-0 in Thursday’s fourballs, Thongchai Jaidee’s side hit back to take three points from yesterday’s foursomes, at one point even leading in four of the matches and being level in the other.

In the end they had to settle for Prayad Marksaeng and Kim Hyung-sung beating Thomas Bjorn and  Thorbjorn Olesen 4&3, and Anirban Lahiri and Siddikur Rahman defeating Joost Luiten and Victor Dubuisson on the 18th, with two matches finishing all square.

Europe’s only winners were Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson, who came from behind to beat Gaganjeet Bhullar and Nicholas Fung 2&1. Captain Miguel Angel Jimenez helped deny Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat victory in the opening contest, the 50-year-old making two eagles at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club for the second day running before a superb approach to the 18th set up Pablo Larrazabal for a birdie.

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Stephen Gallacher also halved their match with Koumei Oda and Hideto Tanihara thanks to a birdie on the 17th, although the European pair missed another birdie chance on the last to win having let slip a three-hole lead.

“At the end of the day I am happy,” Jimenez said. “We managed to half a couple of matches and win another. It was a tough day and Asia played very well. At one point it looked like it was going to be the opposite of yesterday.”

Jimenez’s side now need just three and a half points from today’s 10 singles matches to secure overall victory.