Shah Alam, Malaysia, January 13: Malaysia’s Gavin Green and Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai proved they can take on the best players from Europe by maintaining their unbeaten streak at the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM.
Green and Phachara have so far won their fourballs and foursomes matches with their respective Japanese partners Yuta Ikeda and Hideto Tanihara while China’s Li Haotong, who is also making his debut at the EurAsia Cup, showed he can be counted upon as he sunk a birdie on the last hole to halve his last fourball match against Bernd Wiesberger and Rafa Cabrera Bello on the opening day.
Li continued his effective partnership with Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung when they wrapped up the day’s matches with a convincing 3&1 victory over Bernd Wiesberger and Ross Fisher of England.
Green underlined his growing credentials as Asia’s number one as he held his nerve to deliver another morale boosting point for the team.
They had stood on the verge of a foursomes whitewash after the Europeans had put the first three points on the board at one stage.
Phachara then steadied the ship with Tanihara by bringing down Alex Noren of Sweden and Ireland’s Paul Dunne 2&1 to shift the momentum back to Asia at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
Did you know?
- The pairings of Team Asia were unchanged in the Saturday Foursomes as Green, Ikeda, Tanihara, Phachara, Fung and Li remain unbeaten. Tommy Fleetwood, Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton have also won all their matches for Team Europe so far.
- Green and Ikeda ended their round in a flourish after going 2-down through 14 holes before winning the next three holes. They parred 18 to win by one hole.
- They made a total of four birdies in their foursomes match to contribute the first points for Team Asia today.
- Tanihara and Phachara combined perfectly again to win their match on the 17th hole after making six birdies.
- The pairing of Tanihara and Phachara proved to be a highly successful one by team captain Arjun Atwal despite the age gap of 21 years.
- Li and Fung were 2-down after five holes but fought back to all square after the ninth hole. From there they never trailed Team Europe again and claimed a stunning 3&1 victory.
- This is the first time Fung has ever won a match in the EurAsia Cup after playing in the last two editions.
- Team Asia has never led after two days at the EurAsia Cup. They currently hold a one point lead over Team Europe. Asia has never won three matches in the Foursomes format but in terms of points, this matches the most points earned in 2014 where they won and halved two matches.
- Anirban Lahiri of India has not won a match in this year’s showpiece. However, he holds the best Singles record for Team Asia where he won his matches in 2014 and 2016.
Gavin Green (Mas)
We were just up and down the whole day. We were 2UP at one point, got back to even, went down. We got a penalty on 14 but we stayed patient as we had four more holes to go. We were two down, so we hit a good tee shot on 15, good second shot, good putt and back to 1 down and we were back in it. For me, it’s always nice to play in front of a home crowd but at the same time it adds pressure, but at the same time, the match play game is fun. We just have to think that we are going to go ahead and enjoy it no matter what happens. We’ve done a lot to come this far, and we are just going to try to push as much as we can.
I think tomorrow as long as we stay patient and just play our own games, I think we’ll be fine. The crowd is great and the support is great. The team room is amazing. Everyone is having fun. Once we are off the course, we are doing something else. We are not talking about golf. We are either playing ping pong or pool or just doing something else to get away from golf, which is great. The good thing is all of us are really close. We are all hanging out and chilling together and talking. It’s great. I could get used to this.
Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha)
I played very well today especially my putting. It was good to see most of the putts going into the hole today. Before going out to the course, I just told myself one thing and that is to do my best for Asia. Hideto is a very good partner and we combine really well. He taught me a lot and been guiding me well this week. I’m happy with how our partnership has gone and the results have shown the last two days. I know I’m the youngest players in the Team and everyone is very proud of how I’ve played so far. So it has been very good so far.
Nicholas Fung (Mas)
We (with Li Haotong) understand each other well. It’s important we are able to communicate well as that helps to ease the pressure. I mean, we know that Team Europe is strong and we have to shoot as low as we can and try to make more birdies. Haotong putted well. . So I think we just have to play our own games, play shot by shot. We need to be patient all the time for the match play because one lost hole doesn’t mean we lost the game. Just need to get more birdies as possible, that’s very important.
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), 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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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.
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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.