Asia take surprise lead over Europe in EurAsia Cup first day


But after holding the lead for two days, Team Asia captain Arjun Atwal is confident his team can ink their place in the record books. Otherwise I wouldn't be here. "Expect them to be 100% up for this and that they are going to go out and play some good golf".

Europe trailed 3½-2½ after day one, but took the lead by winning three of the first four foursomes matches on the second day in Malaysia, at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.

While the pairing of Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey saw off Byeong Hun An and Kiradech Aphibarnrat 4&3, and Tyrrell Hatton and Ross Fisher got the better of India's Anirban Lahiri and SSP Chawrasia 5&4, the rest of Europe's players struggled.

Atwal would have been anxious that the scoreline was running away from the hosts but their comeback began with the match of the day as Yuta Ikeda and Gavin Green won three of the final four holes against Levy and Rafa Cabrera Bello to secure a winning point on the 18th green.

"If you asked me if I'm surprised or shocked, I'm not".

The Dane, who is using this event as preparation for Europe's bid to try and win back the Ryder Cup in France later in the year, added: "I learn something every second of the day when I'm a captain, but I don't only do that here".

But despite Europe's emphatic 18 1/2 to 5 1/2 win over Asia last time around in 2016, Bjorn said he is taking nothing for granted.

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However, Hideto Tanihara and the 18-year-old Phachara Khongwatmai put Asia back in front with a 2-up victory over Alex Noren and Ireland's Paul Dunne, leaving it to Cabrera-Bello and Wiesberger to ensure the champions headed into the weekend on level terms.

"Putting wins matches. If you make putts, you're going to win matches". The guys really putted well today.

Belgium's Thomas Pieters and England's Matthew Fitzpatrick thought they had struck another fatal blow to Team Asia's EurAsia Cup title aspirations when they won their match as well.

China's Li Haotong and Malaysia's Nicholas Fung then completed another memorable day for Team Asia when they won another point by beating England's Paul Casey and Austria's Bernd Wiesberger.

"I suspect that we'll go out tomorrow and be ready to play, and foursomes is a very different game".

The Asians have already proved they can match the Europeans, after they held them 10-10 at the inaugural EurAsia Cup in 2014.

"We believe we can go out in 12 singles and win the singles matches and win this tournament".