Shah Alam, Malaysia, November 28: Team Asia Captain Arjun Atwal has announced a young and immensely talented team for the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM with current Order of Merit leader Gavin Green, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, S.S.P. Chawrasia and Li Hao-tong representing Asia.
Thai teenager Phachara Khongwatmai, Poom Saksansin, Malaysia’s Green and India’s Chawrasia make up the leading four Asian players on the 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 to 14, 2018.
Yuta Ikeda of Japan, ranked 37th on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), Li of China, Anirban Lahiri of India, the 2015 Asian Tour number one, and Kiradech of Thailand all earned their spot in Team Asia as the leading available Asians on the world ranking.
Korea’s Byeonghun An, who represented Team Asia in the second edition in 2016, will make his return to the team after being selected as a captain’s pick. Joining him as a captain’s wildcard are Hideto Tanihara of Japan and Nicholas Fung of Malaysia who will make their third appearance in the EurAsia Cup. Sunghoon Kang of Korea, a winner on the Asian Tour, 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 oldest at 39.
“I’m proud to announce my team which is predominantly represented by young players. Most of them are still in their 20s but they have achieved huge success at a young age and have established themselves in the game,” said Atwal.
“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,” said Atwal.
The 23-year-old Green will represent Team Asia for the first time after a splendid 2017 season where he won his first Asian Tour title and finished runner-up three times.
“It is always nice playing in front of the home crowd. The EurAsia Cup is a huge thing and it is a totally different ball game as compared to a stroke-play event. It is a team event and everyone gathers like a big family. I hope a lot of Malaysian fans come out and support Team Asia,” said Green.
China’s Li will also make his first appearance in the team event, dubbed the ‘Ryder Cup of the East’. The supremely talented Chinese holds one victory on the European Tour and is currently ranked 57th in the world thanks to a third-place result at The Open.
Ikeda, the highest ranked player in Team Asia, has enjoyed a remarkable season in Japan where he won thrice while Kiradech is also coming off a solid 2017 where he 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 who successfully defended the Hero Indian Open earlier this year.
“The knowledge of playing in team match-play is crucial and the experience of players like Lahiri, Chawrasia, An and Kiradech will be very important in the team. It is a nice mix of experienced and new players which have huge potential,” said Atwal.
Poom qualified for the team through the Order of Merit thanks to one victory and a runner-up result in Japan. The fearless Phachara, a two-time runner-up in 2017, is another new addition to team alongside Kang, who also finished second twice in the United States this year.
China’s Zhang Lian-wei has also been picked as Vice-Captain by Atwal to help him lead Team Asia against Thomas Bjorn’s Team Europe.
The EurAsia Cup will feature 24 matches, with day one showcasing six Fourball matches, followed by six Foursomes matches and 12 Singles matches on the third day.
Team Europe will feature Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Paul Casey, Paul Dunne, Ross Fisher, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Alex Levy, Alex Noren, Thomas Pieters, Henrik Stenson and Bernd Wiesberger.
DRB-HICOM Berhad (“DRB-HICOM”) is one of Malaysia’s leading conglomerates with core businesses in the Automotive, Services & Education, as well as Property sectors. With more than 90 active companies in its stable and over 59,000 employees group-wide, DRB-HICOM’s aim is to continue adding value and propelling the nation’s development. In the Automotive sector, DRB-HICOM is involved in the manufacturing, assembly and distribution of passenger and commercial vehicles, including the national motorcycle. In Services & Education, DRB-HICOM is involved in various businesses, including concession and financial-related services. In Property, DRB-HICOM is involved in residential and commercial developments.
About Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Rolex (Official Timekeeper), Panasonic (Official Consumer Electronics), ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Partner), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official International Media Partner), Wall Street Journal (Official International Media Partner) and Sentosa in Singapore which is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
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About the European Tour
The European Tour celebrates men’s professional golf on a global stage. In 2017, the European Tour International Schedule features a minimum of 47 tournaments in 26 countries, including eight Rolex Series events, all part of the Race to Dubai.
Celebrating the global connectivity of the European Tour and Dubai, the Race to Dubai is a season-long competition to crown the European Tour’s Number One player, an honour which in 2016 went to Sweden’s Henrik Stenson for the second time, and which since 2009 has also been achieved three times by Rory McIlroy, as well as by Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald. Formerly known as the Order of Merit, points are accumulated based on prize money won, with the top 10 ranked players at the end of the season sharing a $5million Race to Dubai bonus pool.
Since its formation in 1972, the European Tour has witnessed 26 Members celebrate a total of 52 Major Championship titles between them, enjoyed ten Members attaining the pinnacle of World Number One and has celebrated its diversity as players from 36 different countries have won on the Tour.
The European Tour also manages the Challenge Tour, which featured 28 tournaments in 22 countries in 2016, and the Senior Tour, which featured 13 tournaments in nine countries in 2016. It is also the Managing Partner of Ryder Cup Europe, the body which, alongside the PGA of America, administers golf’s greatest team contest, The Ryder Cup.
The European Tour broadcasts live coverage of its tournaments to more than 490 million homes in more than 150 countries every week, generating in excess of 2,200 global broadcast hours for each event. It also enjoys the support of many of the world’s leading business brands with Rolex, BMW, Emirates and Titleist as Official Partners.
About MMC Corporation Berhad
MMC Corporation Berhad (MMC) is a leading utilities and infrastructure group with diversified businesses under three divisions, namely ports & logistics, energy & utilities and engineering & construction.
Its key businesses under the Ports and Logistics division include the operations of Port of Tanjung Pelepas Sdn Bhd, Johor Port Berhad, Northport (Malaysia) Bhd, Penang Port Sdn Bhd, Kontena Nasional Berhad and JP Logistics. Internationally, MMC has an associate stake in Red Sea Gateway Terminal Company Limited, a container port terminal within the Jeddah Islamic Port, Saudi Arabia.
Under the Energy & Utilities division, MMC is the single largest shareholder of both Malakoff Corporation Berhad and Gas Malaysia Berhad.
MMC’s Engineering & Construction division has further established itself in the sector with a leading role as the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) and underground works package contractor for the 51km Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) project (Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line) and Line 2 project (Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya Line). Prior to this, MMC has successfully completed the 329km Ipoh-Padang Besar Electrified Double Tracking Project as well as the innovative Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART) motorway, the first-of-its-kind dual-purpose tunnel in the world.
MMC continues to make inroads in the construction industry, securing key civil and infrastructure projects in the country namely Langat Centralised Sewerage Treatment Plant, Langat 2 Water Treatment Plant, civil and infrastructure works for RAPID Pengerang Cogeneration Plant. Additionally, MMC has a 20% effective interest in Borneo Highway PDP Sdn Bhd (BHP) which has been appointed as PDP for the Sabah Pan Borneo Highway Project.
In other businesses, MMC owns Aliran Ihsan Resources Berhad, a water treatment plant operator and Senai Airport Terminal Services Sdn Bhd, the operator of Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru; a major aviation hub and the main air transportation gateway to Iskandar Malaysia. Additionally, MMC’s Group Property arm manages close to 6,000 acres of industrial developments in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor and Kulim, Kedah, namely Senai Airport City, Tanjung Bin Petrochemical & Maritime Industrial Centre (TBPMIC) and Northern Technocity in Kulim. The Senai Airport City, TBPMIC and NTC (NTC) developments come under the ambit of Group Property’s three operating companies – Senai Airport City Sdn Bhd, Seaport Worldwide Sdn Bhd and Northern Technocity Sdn Bhd respectively.