Thursday, January 14, 2016

  Ian Poulter in lead-off pairing for Europe 

against Asia in Eurasia Cup at Kuala Lumpur

Ian Poulter has been pitted in the familiar role of Europe’s frontman for the opening day of the EURASIA CUP
Captain Darren Clarke has entrusted Poulter and playing partner Bernd Wiesberger with delivering an early point for the away team when the Friday morning fourballs get underway at 8.35am at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club, in Kuala Lumpur.
Poulter boasts a formidable Ryder Cup record, having accrued 13 points from five appearances in the biennial contest, and the Englishman is again relishing his role as Europe’s go-to guy this week.
The pair will go up against a familiar foe in Anirban Lahiri, who won two European Tour titles last term, and his partner Jeunghun Wang of South Korea.
The second match sees Yorkshiremen Danny Willett and Matt Fitzpatrick come up against Byeong-hun An and Thongchai Jaidee, who captained Asia in the first edition of this event in 2014, before Victor Dubuisson and Søren Kjeldsen meet Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung in match three.
England’s Ross Fisher and Swede Kristoffer Broberg will make their EURASIA CUP bows against Prayad Marksaeng and K.T. Kim at 9.20am, before last year’s WGC–Bridgestone Invitational winner Shane Lowry and Andy Sullivan face Wu Ashun and Japan’s Shingo Katayama.
Ryder Cup star Lee Westwood and fellow Englishman Chris Wood come up against Kiradech Aphibarnrat and SSP Chawrasia in the last of the morning’s matches at 9.50am.
Darren Clarke’s European team will be looking to lift the trophy for the first time after the inaugural event ended in a 10-10 tie two years ago.
Player and Captain Quotes
Ian Poulter: “When you get a good group of guys together, ten guys last time, 12 this time; there's something about being able to have other teammates around to be able to talk to, to be able to laugh and joke with, and also to be able to gain a lot of experience. This EurAsia Cup is something that means a lot to both teams and it certainly means a lot to these European players.
“The reason why I certainly like Ryder Cup and obviously this format is because it's the purest form of golf. It's match play. You see your opponent right in the face and you can go out there and you can make a difference: You can hole a chip shot; you can hole a bunker shot; you can hole a long putt; you can turn a match around. In stroke-play events, that doesn't really happen, but in match play, it does. The second you hit that first tee shot, you want to get your opponent off the golf course as soon as possible. This format really excites me.”
Darren Clarke: “Obviously we all know Poults. We know what he brings to the team. We know what he brings to the team room. And to have him leading off Europe, we couldn't ask for a better player. With Bernd, you've got a very, very young, exciting talent, who won The French Open last year, on one of our most difficult golf courses and won comfortably; a very strong pairing. I could say the same about everyone.
“You go down to Danny and Fitz, two young guys and everybody has been playing wonderful in practise. Victor and Soren, Ross and Chris, and finishing off with Lee and Woody is a very strong pairing, as well. There isn't one pairing there that stands out to be stronger than anything else.
" The team have been, as I said, wonderful to work with this week. It's been a pleasure for me to try and figure a few things out. I have had a few ideas and so far they are listening to me. I feel very fortunate and humble that I am their captain this week.”
Ian Poulter and Bernd Wiesberger v Anirban Lahiri and Jeung Hun Wang
Danny Willett and Matt Fitzpatrick v Byeong Hun An  and Thingchai Jaidee
Victor Dubuisson and Søren Kjeldsen v Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung
Ross Fisher and Kristoffer Broberg v Prayad Marksaeng and KT Kim
Shane Lowry and Andy Sullivan v Shigo Katayama and Wu Ashun
Lee Westwood and Chris Wood v Kiradech Aphibarnrat and S S P Chawrasia




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