EurAsia Cup a draw after Asia rallies on final day


For Team Europe, the EurAsia Cup played out like the Ryder Cup in reverse.

After racing out to a 5-0 lead and carrying a 7-3 advantage into the final day of competition, the Europeans watched as Team Asia rallied during singles matches Saturday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to force a 10-10 tie in the inaugural edition of the match-play event.

Asia won six of 10 singles matches at Glenmarie GC, halving another two and losing only twice. Both teams were tied with 9.5 points when the final match of the day between Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Hideto Tanihara of Japan reached the 18th hole, but both the hole and the match were halved, leaving the event in a deadlock overall.

Asia's captain Thongchai Jaidee was among the early winners Saturday, defeating former Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell, 3 and 2.

"Every part of my team was unbelievable to come back, fantastic," Jaidee told reporters. "Everyone played really well. I think the match is unbelievable, it was a good finish."

Jaidee's squad was also buoyed by the comeback efforts of Prayad Marksaeng, who was 4 down to Jamie Donaldson at the turn but rallied to halve the match and earn half a point. Asia's other wins included India's Anirban Lahiri defeating Victor Dubuisson, who raced through the match-play bracket at Dove Mountain last month, and Hyung-sung Kim and Siddikur Rahman defeating a pair of winners from earlier this year on the European Tour's Desert Swing - Pablo Larrazabal and Stephen Gallacher, respectively.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, the 50-year-old captain of the European side, captured one of only two singles wins for his team, the other coming courtesy of Dutchman Joost Luiten.

"It's been very tough. At the end of the week, the European team did not win the tournament, but the Asian team, they played very well," Jimenez said. "As I said in the prize giving presentation, Asia, Europe, they both win, nobody loses."

The event is scheduled to return to Malaysia in 2016, although a European venue for next year has not yet been chosen.