Eurasia Cup. Comeback Kings of Asia Square Match.

dragon logo dark Asia were dubbed the comeback Kings as they fought to square the match with Europe on the final day of singles in the Eurasia Cup, at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Malaysia.

Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thongchai Jaidee  (Getty Images)

 

Both Captains and shared Trophy / Getty Images

The Eurasia Cup  finished in a 10-10 draw after a thrilling Asian fightback during the Saturday singles, it came down to the last match on the last green. Both teams had a birdie putt on the last hole to win, but they both missed. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño made his par putt and then conceded the putt of Hideto Tanihara, to finish all square.

It was a thrilling end to the match and a brilliant result for the Asian Team. Team Europe started the day needing only 3 1/2 points from the ten available to be played for, to win. Actually they could still have won had Gonzalo sunk a short putt for par on the 15th when he was one up. The frailties of the claw grip coming to the fore, he did redeem himself with an eagle on the next hole, but the advantage was gone.

For a long time it  looked like Asia were threatening to produce a victory to rival Europe’s ‘Miracle at Medinah’ in the 2012 Ryder Cup.

 Team Asia captain Thongchai Jaidee  started the stunning fightback by beating the Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell       3 and 2.

Team Europe captain Miguel Angel Jiménez beat  Nicholas Fung with a birdie on the 18th,  one up. Kiradech Aphibarnrat defeated Thomas Björn 2 and 1. Kim Hyung-sung dispatched  Pablo Larrazábal 4 and 2, while   Prayad Marksaeng and Jamie Donaldson finished all square.

 Stephen Gallacher lost to Siddikur Rahman, and Thorbjorn Olesen went down to Gaganjeet Bhullar, both losses were 4 and 3. Victor Dubuissson succumbed to Anirban Lahiri 4 and 2. The only other win for Europe came from a delighted Joost Luiten, who just managed to see off Koumei Oda 1 up in tense finish to the match.

Golf is an amazing game, last week Adam Scott looked to have the game sewn up after just two rounds, he eventually lost, and here Team Europe won the first day 5-0 and then were lucky to survive for the draw.

Eurasia Cup, Asia Rebound in Foursomes.

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Asia have rebounded and dominated the Friday foursomes to reduce Europe’s lead to four points in the inaugural Eurasia Cup at  Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Malaysia.

Prayad Marksaeng  (Getty Images)

Prayad Marksaeng  /Getty Images

Prayad Marksaeng and Kim Hyung-sung beat Thomas Björn and Thorbjørn Olesen 4 and 3 and  Anirban Lahiri and Siddikur Rahman squeezed past Joost Luiten and Victor Dubuisson, 1 up on the final green.

 

Two matches ended all square, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and Stephen Gallacher  halved their match with Koumei Oda and Hideto TaniharaFor the second day running  European captain Miguel Angel Jiménez made two eagles at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club, before finishing with a superb approach to the 18th green set up team-mate Pablo Larrazábal for a birdie to snatch half a point against Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

The European teams only winners on the day were Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson, who came from behind for the second match running to beat Gaganjeet Bhullar and Nicholas Fung 2 and 1.

With Asia taking the session 3-2 it still keeps their hopes alive going into Saturday’s ten singles matches.  Asia’s spirited fightback has certainly reduced the arrears , but Europe still remain on course for victory and will take a 7-3 lead into final day in Kuala Lumpur. They just need three and a half points from Saturday’s ten singles matches to secure overall victory.

Euro captain Miguel summed it up;

“You don’t want to change anything that is working well. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow; nobody knows.”

Eurasia Cup. Europe Excel on Day 1

dragon logo dark  Day 1 of the Eurasia Cup was dominated by the European Team, an excellent performance saw them crush Asia.

Miguel Angel Jimenez  (Getty Images)

European Team Captain Miguel Angel Jiménez / Getty Images

European Team captain Miguel Angel Jiménez lead by example as his team spanked the opposition 5-0 in the opening round of four-balls in the Eurasia Cup. Partnered by Pablo Larrazábal they set the standard in a 2 and 1 victory over Asia skipper Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat at the  Glenmarie Golf & Country Club in Malaysia.

Pablo was full of praise for his captain;

“Miguel played great, he had like three or four birdie chances where he made birdie and he was amazing. I was there when he needed me but he played great.”

At the anchor end was Graeme McDowell, he had a 26-hour journey from Orlando after playing in the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday, but shook off any signs of jet-lag. He and partner Jamie Donaldson completed the whitewash victory beating  Nicholas Fung and Kim Hyung-sung 3-1.

Graeme spoke about their some from behind victory;

“We somehow managed to make the turn at one-down, which was huge. And this guy {Jamie} had a phenomenal back nine. It was great to watch.”

Jaime admitted he and Graeme had a slow start to their match;

“We had a slow start. We had five pars which was quite slow, but after that Graeme holed a good couple of putts on the front nine and he birdied six, eight and nine and after that I played well and we dovetailed really well to close out the match on 17. We have had a very good day today. To be five nil up is a fantastic start.”

“We have always said during practice that we simply can’t underestimate our opponents because the end of the day, we are playing in Malaysia, it’s so hot and the courses favor them.  We just had a very good day today and we have to not get complacent, get out tomorrow and continue to play well and not take it for granted, although we have had a very good start.”

In the middle matches Victor Dubuisson and Joost Luiten  secured a 3&2 win over Prayad Marksaeng and Siddikur Rahman. Followed by Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen who had a two-up victory against  Koumei Oda and Hideto Tanihara.

 Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Stephen Gallacher won 4&3 against  Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar.

The three-day EurAsia Cup continues on Friday, with the 10-man teams playing five more foursomes before the tournament concludes with singles matches on Saturday.

CIMB Classic. Keegan Crushes Kuala Lumpur.

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Keegan Bradley fired in a -6 under par 66, second round at the CIMB Classic at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Cub in Malaysia.

Drive to succeed

Keegan Bradley / Getty Images

Keegan’s second round score of -6 under 66 gives him a four shot cushion at the top of the leaderboard at the CIMB Classic at Kuala Lumpur. Just to emphasize how good Keegan has been, he has hit 24 of 28 fairways en route to making 14 birdies through 36 holes.

Not surprisingly Keegan said this is a good course for him;

“It’s challenging, it’s very tight and you’ve got to drive the ball straight, it’s a really good course for me. Driving distance is a big advantage, but I’m also hitting the ball super straight. It’s hard to remember a time where I’ve been more dialed in than these last two days.”

First round leader Ryan Moore could only manage an even par 72 second round, to finish in second place at -9 under par, but said he is still in good shape;

“I’m at or near the lead going into the weekend depending obviously on what happened on a couple guys the last few holes, “But I’m in a great spot, obviously, enjoying the course and playing well. I was happy with my ball striking, I didn’t get it around the hole, but I had my wedges and 9-irons in my hands. I just didn’t get it to those 8- to 12-footers. I seemed to be in that 15- to 20-foot range today and just wasn’t able to convert them.”

Tied in third spot are Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Chris Stroud, both on -8 under par, Kiradech enjoys playing with the top guns, Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney;

“I’m quite enjoying these two top players, I can’t say I was playing better than the two of them, but maybe Phil isn’t used to the type of  grass and this type of weather. But the way he’s driving the ball, he is still a world class player.”

Phil Mickelson said his swing is getting closer to what it should be, after shooting a second round of -2 under par 70;

” It’s not much better, I don’t have the control of the swing that I’d like. I’m not sure what side I’m going to miss it on. Playing this golf course from the rough, which I did today, is extremely difficult. The rough is tough and you’re fighting for pars the whole day. It was closer today, the rhythm was a little bit better but technically, I’ve got a lot of issues. With the wedges, the technical flaws really don’t come through, it’s really the longer stuff. So I can get away with it if I can manufacture a few swings into the fairway. But it felt better today, the rhythm felt a little bit better today. I won’t worry so much about technique and the technical side these next two days and just see if I can get a good rhythm with the swing and maybe I can make some birdies.”

CIMB Classic, Malaysia, Wonderful Watney Wins

           

Magic in Malaysia

Nick Watney/ Getty Images

Nick Watney shot a course record last round on Sunday of -10 under par, 61 to win the CIMB Classic at The MINES Resort & Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with a tournament total of -22 under par. Nick had a chance to go for a 59, but a wayward tee shot on eighteen left him with a difficult approach to the green from the left rough. His effort failed to reach the green, and he was then left with a long pitch shot for par, he failed in his attempt and dropped a shot at the last. That mistake left Bo Van Pelt needing to finish with a birdie to tie Nick at -22 under par. Bo was seeking back to back wins after his victory last week in Australia. Bo also missed the fairway on eighteen, then his approach landed in the green-side bunker, and he got up and down for par, to tie second place with Robert Garrigus, who birdied eighteen for his -21 under par tournament total. Both players had last round scores of -6 under par 66.

Tiger Woods made the charge he promised after his disappointing error strewn second nine on Saturday. Tiger had a last round score of -8 under par 63, and finished just three shots off the lead, tied in fourth place, after starting ten shots adrift of the final pairing of Van Pelt and Garrigus. Sharing fourth place with Tiger was Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge, who had a final round of -5 under par, 66, and Chris Kirk who had an average last round of -4 under par 67.  Another really low round came from Carl Pettersson with a -9 under par last round effort, giving him seventh place on his own.

CIMB Classic, in Malaysia, Tiger Tumbles Down

 

 

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods/Eurosport

Tiger Woods tumbled down the leaderboard at the CIMB Classic at The MINES Resort & Golf Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, shooting a third round -2 under par,69. Tiger had cruised through the front nine, reaching the turn in 30 strokes, after five birdies and four pars, but suddenly his round unraveled on the back nine as he dropped five shots to offset two more birdies on another stifling day in Kuala Lumpur. Tiger managed to put his ball into lakes, bunkers and onto cart paths to stall his third round charge, he said it was due to bad swings;

“I made a couple of bad decisions, bad swings on top of that, just all-in-all made too many mistakes and on a golf course that is playing this benign, you can’t afford to do that. I’m going to have to shoot a low one tomorrow, something similar like Bo did today, but probably being this far back, I’m going to need some help, a great round tomorrow might not win that’s the only problem.”

The round of Bo Van Pelt Tiger referred to was a super -9 under par 62, which puts Bo in a share of the top leaderboard at -16 under par with Robert Garrigus. Roberts third round was a conservative -2 under par 69.

At one stage Bo was thinking of a magical 59 but things went wrong for him;

“Obviously disappointing to finish with a double, but I look back on the 17-and-a-half holes I played well, and you know, hopefully that will carry over into tomorrow, not the last half.”

Chris Kirk is alone in third place, after his sparkling round of -8 under par 63. This golf course is playing so easy that there could be some really low scores again tomorrow, but Tiger can only hope the leaders fall over if he is to win from tenth place.