Shah Alam, Malaysia: There’s no limit to the potential of the region’s top young players with Major triumphs a distinct possibility.
That’s the view of Arjun Atwal, captain of the defeated Team Asia in the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM.
Atwal’s team led for two days after the fourballs and foursomes matches but were outplayed by Team Europe in the final-day singles at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club. The final score was 14-10 to Europe.
In the wake of the event, Atwal said: “I’m very proud of these guys. They are all awesome players and it’s just unfortunate we lost. We just didn’t make enough putts and they, on the other hand, made a lot more putts than us.”
While his team fell short on the final day, Atwal was delighted to witness the talent on display, particularly from the young Thai duo of Poom Saksansin and Phachara Khongwatmai.
“The sky’s the limit for them. It’s unbelievable. They are all fantastic players. I got to know some of these guys a lot better this week and by just watching them play, I know they can achieve anything they want. They can win Majors. They can win big tournaments on big Tours. There’s no limit,” added the Indian.
Poom, who was making his EurAsia Cup debut, showed no fear as he brought down seasoned Ryder Cup campaigner Paul Casey in the singles. Together with Korean Kang Sung-hoon, the 24-year-old also created the biggest upset in the opening-day fourballs when they won 5&4 over Henrik Stenson and Alexander Levy.
Phachara underlined his quality with a masterclass in putting on the first two days. The Thai put two points on the board for Team Asia and showed he can be a man for the big occasion.
“Look at the way he (Phachara) handled himself under pressure. If I was 18, I don’t know if I would be able to do what he did this week by playing in this type of pressure,” said Atwal.
With the conclusion of the third edition of the EurAsia Cup, Atwal indicated he would be keen to take on the captaincy again. “I had a lot of fun. I had an absolute blast this week. Even though we didn’t win, they are all champions and, for me personally, I would do this in a heartbeat again,” said Atwal.
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