Shah Alam, Malaysia: Captain Arjun Atwal has announced a young and talented team for the EurAsia Cup with Gavin Green, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, SSP Chawrasia and Li Haotong all in the Team Asia line-up.
Thais Phachara Khongwatmai and Poom Saksansin, Malaysian Green and Indian Chawrasia make up the leading four Asian players on the Asian Tour Order of Merit who qualified for Team Asia in the biennial event which will be played at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club from January 12-14, 2018.
Yuta Ikeda of Japan, ranked 37th on the Official World Golf Ranking, China’s Li, Indian Anirban Lahiri and Thai Kiradech earned their spots in Team Asia as the leading available Asians on the world ranking.
Korean An Byeong-hun, who represented Team Asia in 2016, returns to the team as a captain’s pick. Joining him as a wildcard selection are Japan’s Hideto Tanihara and Malaysian Nicholas Fung, who will make their third appearance in the EurAsia Cup. Kang Sung-hoon of Korea will make his debut after being selected as the final captain’s pick.
Team Asia will have a combined total of 58 titles won worldwide while six players in the 12-man team are still in their 20s. Phachara is the youngest at 18 and Tanihara is the eldest at 39.
Atwal said: “My team is predominantly represented by young players. Most of them are still in their 20s but they have achieved huge success at a young age.
“Seven players in my team are ranked inside the top-100 on the Official World Golf Ranking and this underlines the strength of Team Asia. This is a strong team and it will be our goal to win the EurAsia Cup.
“We will face a strong Team Europe but I have faith in every member in my team. I’ve already mapped out a game plan to keep the players motivated and battle-ready when the tournament starts.”
The 23-year-old Green will represent Team Asia for the first time. “It’s always nice playing in front of the home crowd. The EurAsia Cup is a totally different ball game compared to a stroke play event. I hope a lot of Malaysian fans come out and support Team Asia,” said Green, who current leads the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
China’s Li will also make his first appearance in the event. Third at this year’s Open Championship, Li is currently ranked 57th in the world.
Ikeda, the highest ranked player in Team Asia, has won three times in Japan this year while Kiradech finished second at the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Champions and Italian Open.
Atwal will also rely on the experience of countrymen Lahiri, who represented Team Asia in the last two editions, and Chawrasia.
Meanwhile, China’s Zhang Lianwei has been named as Vice-Captain for Team Asia against Thomas Bjorn’s Team Europe.
The EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM will feature 24 matches – six fourball matches, followed by six foursomes matches and 12 singles.
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