Thongchai issues battle cry ahead of inaugural EurAsia Cup
Team Asia captain Thongchai Jaidee has vowed to launch an all-out attack against Team Europe when the inaugural EurAsia Cup gets underway in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
The decorated Thai ace, who holds an unprecedented three Asian Tour Order of Merit titles, will spearhead the continent’s charge at the three-day event which has been billed as an intercontinental clash.
With his illustrious track record that also includes 13 Asian Tour titles, Thongchai has issued a battle cry for his team to show their mettle and win lift the EurAsia Cup at the Glenmarie Golf & Country Club.
“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.
The EurAsia Cup is based on a format similar to the Ryder Cup where the teams will go head-to-head in the fourball format on day one, foursomes on day two before culminating with the singles on the final day.
Thongchai acknowledged that Team Europe, led by Miguel Angel Jimenez and including Ryder Cup stars Graeme McDowell and Thomas Bjorn, will be a formidable side but is confident his team will prevail on Saturday. The winning team must garner 10.5 points to win the first EurAsia Cup trophy.
“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,” said Thongchai.
Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman, a two-time Asian Tour winner, believes the EurAsia Cup will showcase the emergence of Asian golf and he is eager to leave his mark on the world stage.
“We’ll do our best to win the EurAsia Cup. This is the first time we’re all coming together to play as a team and I’m confident we can win,” said Siddikur, who holds the distinction of being the first Bangladeshi to win an Asian Tour title in Brunei in 2010.
Japanese star Koumei Oda, who finished third on the Japan Golf Tour money list last season, is also looking forward to ignite the intercontinental rivalry with an assured performance.
“This is a very exciting event and I’m really looking forward to playing. We’ve played a practice round together and we had a team meeting so we know more about each other’s games,” said Oda.
Team Asia: Thongchai Jaidee (captain, Thailand), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand), Gaganjeet Bhullar (India), Nicholas Fung (Malaysia), Kim Hyung-sung (South Korea,) Anirban Lahiri (India), Prayad Marksaeng (Thailand), Koumei Oda (Japan), Siddikur Rahman (Bangladesh), Hideto Tanihara (Japan).
Team Europe: 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 (Northern Ireland), Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark).