Jiménez to have starring roles in inaugural EurAsia Cup
Miguel Angel Jiménez will play two roles for Europe at the inaugural EurAsia Cup in Malaysia in March – as a player and captain.
The popular Spaniard became an automatic choice as the second batch of four qualifiers, taken from official world golf ranking, was announced for the clash against Asia at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur from March 27-29.
Thomas Björn, Stephen Gallacher, and Joost Luiten also qualified and join Graeme McDowell, Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño as the eight automatic qualifiers for the European team.
“I have a very nice team with the addition of these qualifiers,” said Jiménez, who won his third Hong Kong Open at Fanling in December.
“Thomas Björn has been playing very well for some time, Stephen Gallacher has just won in Dubai for the second year in a row and Joost Luiten is a very good player who is improving all the time.
“And then there is me with half a century on my shoulders but I can still play some golf. I won at the end of last year in Hong Kong and I’m really looking forward to leading this side in the first EurAsia Cup.
“The combination of experience and the power of youth will work very well. Graeme McDowell, Thomas and I have plenty of experience from many Ryder Cups and playing all around the world for many years while the young guns bring power and fresh spirit. It’s a great mixture for any team.”
“There are a lot of players on our team who will have a great chance to play the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and it will be great for Paul [McGinley] to see them in the team environment and look at how they handle it all.
“It will be a very hard competition to win because the Asian team is full of top-class players and will be desperate to win on their home turf. The heat and conditions will be to their advantage too, but if we play to the best of our abilities we can win.”
With 35 European Tour wins and six Ryder Cup appearances between them, Björn and Jiménez will bring a wealth of experience to the 10-man European team to face Thongchai Jaidee’s Asian side, while Gallacher and Luiten are two of the latest European stars to have recently broken into the world’s top 50.
Jiménez will add two captain’s picks to complete his 10-man team.
The Asian team includes newly crowned Asian Tour number one Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, Bangladeshi star Siddikur Rahman and Indian duo Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar.
Team Asia’s playing captain Thongchai Jaidee will announce another four more players on Wednesday.