EurAsia Cup-Final Rd What They Said

Sat 29 Mar 2014

EurAsia Cup-Final Rd What They Said

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March 29: Read what players from both Team Asia and Team Europe have to say after the final round of the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM.
TEAM ASIA
Thongchai Jaidee (Tha)
First, like to say thank you to our team, did a good job today.  Really proud of you guys.  You played fantastic today.  I'm very proud of you guys and hope that in the future we can -- I'm not complaining at all.  I'm very happy, I'm very, very happy and very proud of you guys and I'm so happy to be sharing the trophy and to get ten points and very happy to get a good come back, I'm very, very happy.  That's the best thing I say here.
I think in our meeting with them together, who is going to play first, who is going to play last, thinking about -- I know the guys playing awesome but you never know in this format who is going to play and if we put the right players to get in.
Luckily we got seven points today and very, very good come back today, we have seven points.  I'm thinking about, try to push up and everything try and attack and also you have to be positive.  Every player, they has what they want to do, they do a good job.  Thank you very much.
I think only thing is yesterday, the first thing I think is win or lose, doesn't matter.  Most important is win, but the most important -- you never know you can catch up or not.  I tell them, okay, positive and also play your own game and enjoy your game and play the course and play how you like, that's the most important.  Everyone do a very good job today.  Everyone I say enjoy your game and positive.  That's the main, the key point.
Yeah, this my first time to be captain and player together, a lot of work.  I know it's very hard work to play like both sides together.  It's a tough job.  I want to play in this event but this job it's hard work.  I'm very happy to do it.  If I can't play, I would like to play more than a couple times.  That's the key point.
But anyway, nice to be here and hopefully we get ideas for the future, another two more years.  If I can I would like to support this tournament is that this -- I would like to see this kind of format one weekend we can see.  I think, yeah, that I would like to see.  I don't know what going on in the future.
Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (Tha)
It's been a great round for me, after making two birdies in a row on 15 and 16. It was a good match. I didn’t play well on the front nine. I played better towards the end.
Thongchai and I have planned to win the first couple of matches for Team Asia. We kept trying to hit it to the pins, make putts, birdies. It didn’t turn out that good, but you know, match play, you are just playing hole-by-hole, just one by one. I'm quite happy with the result.
We still believe Team Asia can do it. We could make a miracle. If you look on the scoreboard, Asia can really stage a strong come back.
Of course, we are like four points behind and we are playing with very experienced players.  It's not easy catching up on the singles match with how the European Team is playing.  But I just want to thank both teams. We all did our best. Whether we win or lose, the most important thing is we have done our best.
After the first day, finishing 5-nil behind, I wasn't expecting that we are going to come back to share the trophy but just a little bit too far behind.  After the second round, TJ waiting so hard to change the draw and he worked hard for the team to make the points back.  And then it was a great job for the other team to fight today.  We won the first couple points.  So to share the trophy for a draw is a good result and I’m just happy.
Nicholas FUNG (Mas)
I was so happy I can finish all 18 holes for the team. I made a lot of birdies and I’m very happy with how I played despite losing the match.
Hole 17 was special for me. Great gallery and the crowd was making so much noise. I'm happy to see the crowd and supporters come down and support me and Team Asia.
It has been an enjoyable week. I learned a lot of things from the match play. I’ve learned to be a little patient with my game and coping with the crowd pressure. I have to relax more.
Jimenez played with no pressure. He was so patient with his game. I’ve to learn to be like him.
I would definitely love to play for Team Asia again if I have the chance to. I need to improve my game for the future and I hope Team Asia can win the next one. We never know what will happen until the end. There was still a possibility of win.
This is the best week of my golfing career as I get to play with top players from Europe and Asia altogether.
Expecting to putt on the last hole because it's quite far and somewhat outside the ridge there.  My first putt, I could almost put it back (laughter) and so if you putt this one, maybe your team has a chance to win.  But luckily our Team Asia fight back and it was a very good come back on the last few holes, yeah.
SIDDIKUR Rahman (Ban)
It was great. It is the best round of all three. I played solid today.  I played like 3-under and I had a really memorable shot.  My game was good and I putted well. I played well to win this match.
It was a really good experience.  We had a team meeting with our captain after the round every day. It was unfortunate that we lost all five matches on the first day but we didn’t give up.
I had really good confidence with the team as it's like our home course for all Asian players. I think we did really good in the last two rounds.
I think it's a great achievement that we drew this match.  But we really had a good come back, very nice day.  First day, we made a five-down but I think we had a very good players meeting and I'd like to thanks our captain that every morning and afternoon after the game, we had a really good meeting.
He had spoke to us yesterday afternoon, and especially -- yesterday, he said, we need to talk with you -- I think that things all together, like our players meeting and like taking with us, it's all together, it's helped a lot.
Like when Europe won the U.S. Ryder Cup the last time, we have got nothing to lose.  It's true.  Even the first day we lost all matches -- so, yeah, nothing to lose, because the Europeans won The Ryder Cup, so we have got nothing to lose.  We are getting more experience from that.  So just go for it.
There's many Bangladeshis around and a lot of other Malaysians were supporting me very much and I think that was especially good for my energy to play well.  So that's really -- I always like to see spectators.  I appreciate them and thanks to all of them.
Hideto TANIHARA (Jpn)
I knew that on 14 that it depended on our group and it would decide everything.  On 16, 17, had great putts, but the opponent played better.  It was really exciting the whole way for me.
The putt on the 18, Thongchai said it was going to break and it broke more than he thought but it was good fun.
Gaganjeet BHULLAR (Ind)
Trust me, ever since I landed in Kuala Lumpur national airport, I was so pumped up and so full of confidence.  The first two days we played very well and yesterday me and Nicholas played well but we made a few mistakes on the last few holes.
Today from tee No. 1, I was just so positive.  I was ready to take on anybody, and I guess that's what we guys needed today, and all the points, the seven points, they were very important.
This is the first time that we all first got an opportunity to actually showcase Asian golf. I would the Asian Tour should organise more of these matchplay tournaments.
There are a lot of things that we were discussing in the team room about what the Asian Tour needs to do and I totally agree with you.  We guys need to develop something where everybody could gel each other in a positive way and where we could actually get an opportunity to play in foursomes and four-ball.
When we guys were walking off the 18th green today, that gave us a sense of achievement.  That actually tells us how far we guys have come.  There was a time that guys used to say that we were from Asia, do you have a tour.   Now people know that the Asian Tour players are the players from Asian continent are going to be the next superstars.  Look at Y.E. Yang, K.J. Choi, these guys are making ourselves proud.
I think this week, representing the whole continent, taking the responsibility, it was a great, great pleasure.  Everybody played really well and as I said, you know, we had a pep talk from Kyi Hla Han and that turned everything around.
we are proud of how we picked ourselves up the last 48 hours.  I think it's a great moment for Asian golf because it's put us on the map and I know a lot of people will now take notice of ten of us and the Asian Tour, and for everybody who is here representing the biggest tours and biggest countries of Asia, I think this is one of the first few steps that we need to take in popularising Asian golf.  I think that's a good point that we proved especially coming from 5-0 down.  All of us are very happy and very proud that we came back and contributed.
Prayad MARKSAENG (Tha)
First of all, I just try to play my game and still happy.  What I think at that time is just keep up my own game and try my best to keep a score and to keep it well.  Doesn't matter if play well or not, but my game has to be good and then I have to continue playing this game until finish as long as I can.
Anirban LAHIRI (Ind)
For us, we had everything to gain.  All the boys, everybody in the team, really wanted to come hard and prove a point.  A lot of the people wrote us off.  I was reading a lot in the media on Twitter and Facebook and there was a lot of backlash.
I think all of us found that strength deep within us to come back and show them that, you know, we are golfers, as well.  Everybody puts European golf up there, and I think it's time that Asian golf gets the credit we should get.
I think as someone who I think I'm on the cusp of breaking into -- I think, yes, to play with a better field and by a better field, I mean higher World Ranking points and I mean bigger prize money and I mean bigger-profile events.  At the moment, I think in America and other places to be playing -- you get some really quality fields like you got this week from Europe.
Yes, I do think most players do aspire to play in America and in Europe, and as you can see, we are not doing too badly here in Asia, either, as we showed this week.
Looking at the board, I think Thongchai masterminded the draw, I think that was one of the key factors today.  The draw was great and me and Gagan were playing in the middle of the draw,  and when I looked at the scoreboard, Nicholas was all square with Jimenez; Thongchai was up; Kiradech was up, behind me and big margins and we fought back.
When I was on the back nine, it was inspiring for me to see how the rest of the team was fighting. And I think that brought the best out in me coming down the stretch.
Nicholas Fung has won on this golf course.  Apart from that, he has had a few other good finishes on this golf course, but for the other nine team members, this is the first time we ever saw this golf course and everybody arrived on Sunday night.  We had a dinner and we had a chat what we are going to do.  We played with each other on Monday and Tuesday hoping that this would be the draw for Thursday and Friday.
Playing practice rounds together, we were discussing about it since Abu Dhabi and the Middle Eastern swing and Thongchai has been telling us, this is how they are going to set up the golf course and going to make sure that the rough is up and just make sure your short game is sharp.
Apart from that, I think the most important thing was everybody arrived here on Sunday evening.  So all of us got an opportunity to play three practice rounds.  Although the players from the European side, they were playing in Bay Hill last week and didn't got here until Tuesday night.  So that was an important edge we guys had.
KIM Hyung-sung (Kor)
Today the galleries, it was great out there.  The support was great.  It just felt like it was one family out there and so it just helped the players and it helped me perform the way I performed today and it was just a great feeling to be out there with all the galleries out there.  It was great.
TEAM EUROPE 
Miguel Angel JIMÉNEZ
It's an amazing day of golf.  It's been very tough.  At the end, we finish 10-10.  Looks like at the end of the week, The Europeans Team do not win tournament -- but I would say that there is still more golf to play, the Asian Team played very well.  They won six matches today and it showed that golf is very healthy all over the world.  
All the players are playing very well and they are giving me everything they have.I have all the respect for the players I have the pleasure to be here with this week, and as I say in the prize giving presentation, you know, Asia, Europe, they both win, they both win, nobody lose.  I hope the tournament can continue to grow.
The most important thing, you have to enjoy yourself.  Then everything will run perfect.  That's it.  At the 19th when you're on the golf course -- just concentrate on what you're doing.
The match today, I make a birdie, he make a birdie on the next, no, and then at some point -- back on the hole No. 9.  I made birdie, he hole another birdie, was a very nice match.  So he played very well.  At the end of the match, he's coming up to the 18th, and a chance to make another birdie -- (laughter).
Gonzalo FERNANDEZ-CASTAÑO
Well, it wasn't easy.  Miguel was coming over to give me advice but I couldn't hear much of what he was saying (laughter).  This guy, I went to ask him, what did you do in The Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, because I am just shaking.
But it's totally different when you play for a team.  We are not really that used to it.  I've been in contention many times in tournaments, and I never felt as nervous as I have today.  All of a sudden everything was down to my game.  I try my best.  I think I'm pretty proud of the way I played the last few holes.
If I could go back, probably 15 again, but apart from that, I played very solid and he holed crucial putts at the right time. I think a halve was a fair result for our game.
I played last week and yes, it is a long way to come.  It's two or three flights but to be honest, I didn't feel too bad this week.  I was quickly on the plane and arrived Tuesday morning.  It's 12 hours' time change, but to be honest  I think I wasn't affected at all by the jet-lag during the week.  A little tired when I got here, but as the week moved on, I felt pretty good.
You know, it's been a pleasure to come to Malaysia and play the first time the EurAsia Cup's been played.  It's been a great week and if I had to do it again I'd be straight on that plane to Malaysia to play in this great tournament again.
Joost  LUITEN
Yeah, it looked like 3-up after 14, but I made it difficult for myself and gave 16 away, basically, and on the last, it's very nerve-wracking.  It's good to make an 8-footer to get a point in and I'm proud of that.
Thomas BJÖRN
You come to these places, I think you tell the whole truth about how tough a day we had today.  It's difficult, and to come out here and play, a lot of times we come out here when you're on your own, you kind of time your week.  It's maybe a bit harder when you're part of a team I think.  You do a lot of things together and you spend a lot of time together in the evening.  We are not used to it, and if you don't drink enough, the body -- I felt like a piece of jelly out there today and that just makes it tough to play the game.  But there's no excuses.
As a team ball, it's a fantastic way of bringing it together at the last minute, but the team is behind -- and today is Saturday, the last day, and played some fantastic golf.  So just got to give a lot of credit to their team today.
Graeme McDOWELL
I think this is a very important team building exercise in a Ryder Cup year for The European Team.  Having Captain McGinley here this week is very important to us as European players.  A couple of the boys sitting up here are pretty much locked into The Ryder Cup Team in September, and you know, tits great to get out there and see some pairings, put together in foursomes and some better-ball pairings.
Like Thomas said, team golf is very special.  It brings players so close together.  You experience a lot, and it was very exciting out there.  You know, let's hope this event can go from strength-to-strength and really establish itself as a big match.  You know, I think we all as a team enjoyed the week, and you know, certainly it got what it deserved in a very, very exciting finish and two very evenly-matched teams in the end.
I certainly enjoyed every minute of the week.
You only have to look at The Ryder Cups over the last ten or 15 years from Valderrama to Brookline to Celtic Manor to Medinah; things happen.  There's no room for complacency.
I don't think our team was guilty of being complacent.  The Asian team played very well the last two guys and the ten guys sitting here are professional players.  You can't take anybody lightly, especially in match play, anything can happen over 18 holes in match play.
There's no room for complacency.  We are not making any excuses about what happened the last two days.  The Asian team played better than we did.  This golf course was really well set up.  You have to hit it in the fairway and you have to attack these flags and they just did a lot better than we did.
So match play, team match play, there's a lot of things can happen.  I feel like we were very lucky to get the half in the end, some great golf from Miguel and Joost and Jamie, and Gonzo in the last match.  We fought hard for every point we got today, and I think we probably feel a little bit of relief that we got a half.
Victor DUBUISSON
I was very focused on my match.  I didn't want to lose the first match.  But seeing some red on the board, I was feeling confident about my teammates.  I didn't feel really pressure about this.
Stephen GALLACHER
You just do your own thing and that's it.  Just focus on your own match, unfortunately didn't persevere.  In the end, we all went out happy and we'll all come back happy.