Team Europe still trailing in EurAsia Cup

Paul Casey, right, has marked his return to the European fold by winning both his matches so far for captain Thomas Bjorn in Malaysia. Picture: Getty Images
Paul Casey, right, has marked his return to the European fold by winning both his matches so far for captain Thomas Bjorn in Malaysia. Picture: Getty Images
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Team Asia hold the advantage going into the final day of the third EurAsia Cup in Malaysia.

Arjun Atwal’s side lead Europe 6.5 to 5.5 after Saturday’s foursomes were shared 3-3 at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club in Kuala Lumpur.

It looked like Thomas Bjorn’s side might have the lead after they made a good start to the day, but wins for Team Asia pairings Hideto Tanihara and Phachara Khongwatmai and Haoting Li and Nicholas Fung in the final two matches swung the balance back into the hosts’ favour.

Trailing by a point after Friday’s fourballs, Europe made a strong start to the day, winning three of the top four matches.

Henrik Stenson and Tommy Fleetwood beat Anirban Lahiri and SSP Chawrasia 3&2, Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton delivered a 2&1 success over Byeong Hun An and Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Matthew Fitzpatrick and Thomas Pieters got the better of Poom Saksansin and Sunghoon Kang 3&2.

That gave Europe a 5.5-4.5 lead, but Team Asia turned it around as Tanihara and Khongwatmai beat Alex Noren and Paul Dunne 2&1 before Li and Fung won three of the last four holes to claim a 3&2 win over Bernd Wiesberger and Ross Fisher.

“It was a bit reverse of yesterday to be honest,” said Team Europe captain Bjorn. “We got off to a really good start and things looked like they were going our way and it turned a little bit on its head in the end.

“We came out of the session 3‑3, which is not what we were looking for, but you know, we live to fight another day tomorrow and we’ve got 12 strong players.”

Noren, the 2016 Scottish Open champion, will lead Team Europe in the deciding singles session on Sunday, followed by Casey, Fleetwood and Stenson.

“We’ve got to go out and put some blue on that board and try and win the singles,” added Bjorn. “I would say that this team is very capable of doing that, but we are getting a good fight this week, that’s for sure.

“Some have things to learn and some have done it before, but as a group of 12, the spirit is great. They are disappointed with the results so far, but they have got a point to prove tomorrow.”

Foursomes results

(Team Europe names first)

Tommy Fleetwood & Henrik Stenson (Swe) bt S.S.P Chawrasia (Ind) & Anirban

Lahiri (Ind) 3&2

Paul Casey & Tyrrell Hatton bt Byeong-Hun An (Kr) & Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Th) 2&1

Alexander Levy (Fr) & Gavin Green Lost to Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) & Yuta

Ikeda (Jap) 1 down

Matthew Fitzpatrick & Thomas Pieters (Bel) bt Sung-hoon Kang (Kr) & Poom

Saksansin (Th) 3&2

Paul Dunne & Alex Noren (Se) Lost to Hideto Tanihara (Jap) & Phachara

Khongwatmai (Th) 2&1

Ross Fisher & Bernd Wiesberger Lost to Nicholas Fung (Mal)Haotong Li (Cn) 3&1

Sunday singles

8.35am Noren v Fung

8.45am Casey v Saksansin

8.55am Fleetwood v Chawrasia

9.05am Stenson v Tanihara

9.15am Cabrero Bello v Green

9.25am Wiesberger v Khongwatmai

9.35am Levy v Aphibarnrat

9.45am Pieters v An

9.55am Hatton v Lahiri

10.05am Fitzpatrick v Kang

10.15am Fisher v Ikeda

10.25am Dunne v Haotong