EurAsia Cup-Rd 1 What They Said

Thu 27 Mar 2014

EurAsia Cup-Rd 1 What They Said

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March 27: Read what players have to say after the first round of the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM on Thursday.
TEAM ASIA
Siddikur Rahman (Ban)
Well, I think our hitting was good, except we couldn't hold a putt.  They got a few good long putts, but we played a great game.
We had a good chance for eagle on hole 11 but it ended up in the water.  We were in a good position but my second shot was just short of the green. It’s all part of the game.
I would say it's only the first day, nothing to worry, two days to go.  The third day will be very good competition and tomorrow, as well, because tomorrow is foursome.  I’m really looking forward to the next two days.
Nicholas Fung (Mas)
We actually played well at the beginning. When we got to 3-up on the 8th, I told Kim that we should try and maintain it. I told him we should just play our game and not think too much. However, Graeme McDowell started to play well from the 8th hole onwards, all the way till the end.
I don’t feel the pressure playing in front of the home crowd. I had a good start and I enjoyed playing with Kim.
It was good playing with Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson.  We both played well but they were better than us. We’ll try and improve our game tomorrow and try to get more birdies to beat them tomorrow and get more points.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Tha)
We didn’t expect the score to be 5-nil. With my partner we played good golf today, but Miguel played great golf. He had six or seven birdies and two eagles. He was supposed to win today. We didn’t perform our best. We had five birdies each and on this course, we must make more. It was not a good day. Thongchai didn’t strike it well as he felt tired with his back and he tried to come back but Miguel is an experience player and didn’t let the opportunity to win slip. It’s tough work now for our captain. He’ll try to adjust the team and it’ll be tough tomorrow. Hopefully we can get some early points tomorrow to make it closer tomorrow. We hope to win 4-1 tomorrow to get us back into the match.
Anirban Lahiri (Ind)
Well, I guess we have our backs to the wall.  There's only way we can move from here.  We can't get any worse.  We have to hope that the Europeans get a little complacent with the start and we have to up our games and play our best over the next two days, especially tomorrow, try and win at least four of the matches or 3 1/2 points.  You know, you have to do at least that and give us a fighting chance on Saturday and that's what we are going to try to do tomorrow.
Obviously five-nil is the last thing anyone wants, especially in an event as prestigious as this but there's not much to stay.  We didn't play very well today but you have to hand it to the Europeans that they played really good.  I spoke to most of the team members and most of us were out played today.
Obviously the meeting in the players team room was quite somber.  We have got a lot to think about.  We obviously need to bring our A Games tomorrow.  Points are still out there and it's up to us to go out and pick up tomorrow and we have to pick our games up, and that's exactly what we're going to do over the next two days.
Well, I don't know about the other matches but our match was really tough.  I think they shot 10-under and that's usually hard to beat.  But you know, having said that, we really didn't get any momentum going.
Like I mentioned it was a frustrating day for us.  We had two or three opportunities to get some and we just didn't take those chances.  Like I said, they started out really, really hot.  They started eagle, par, birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie, and we were 2-down, which is not too bad.  But then I had a 15-footer on 7 and Ihad to make that and on 10, both of us hit it inside ten feet and neither of us made it.
So we really couldn't take those opportunities, and once we let that slip, I think we let our chance go and on 111, Gallacher made a putt for eagle and on 12 they made another 25-footer for birdie.  So they were making the 25-footers and we were missing the ten; that's the difference in match play.  When you can make those 20-odd footers and we didn't do any of that today.
Kim Hyung-sung (Kor)
Nicholas played a fabulous round today.  He carried me through the whole round.  I didn't hit it too well, but you know, we had a chance and Nicholas was playing his best.  I didn't help him too much but we did our best out there and I had fun.  I had fun playing with him and it was a good game.
During the Pro-Am and practice round, the greens were a lot faster, so we were judging the speed wrong today. We had chances but I weren't able to get the putts to the hole and from there, we lost momentum.
I enjoyed the match.  I enjoy team matches.  Playing with Nicholas today was exciting.  It was fun.  Nicholas played really well.  I wish I would have played a little bit better for him, but you know, we played out standing today but the European players, they actually played better than us today.  It's a little frustrating, even though this is sort of an event, but it's still a team match and everyone doesn't want to lose.
So hopefully tomorrow, the next couple days, the team will do well and my hat is off to Nicholas, he played really well.
In order to play this event, you have to be somewhat in the rankings to play here.  It would have been nice if more Korean players would have played but like I said, most of the Korean players haven't played as well, so there is criteria to play in this event.
The game is not over until the gloves come out.  There are 15 matches left and we still have two more days.  We just have to go out there and play our best.  If we lose, we lose as champions or we win as champions and hats off to the Europeans and the other team.  We just go out there and play our best game.
Hideto Tanihara (Jpn)
We didn’t play well in the first nine which was the big problem. It was much better on the back nine but we wasted many opportunities. The Danes had a lot of chances and when we birdied, they would also birdie the holes. We tried hard but we couldn’t get level with them. We just couldn’t do much as the Danes were strong. Tomorrow is a different day and different style of golf. We’ll aim to hit fairways and greens and hope to putt well. Hopefully, we can get the team together and try to play well.
Koumei Oda (Jpn)
We couldn’t make a good combination and our putting wasn’t good. The European team was good and mentally, we were not sharp. It is disappointing but we hope we can fight back tomorrow.
Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind)
We played well today but our opponents played really well. I think they must have played the best game in match play. We kind of hung in together and won only one hole which is the negative part, we gave ourselves a lot of opportunities but missed the first few chances. There are two more days to go and we look forward to coming back.
It was a difficult opening for us. That was a difficult flag but Gonzo’s shot for eagle was incredible.
TEAM EUROPE 
Thomas Bjorn
A victory, a point, that was the most important thing.  It wasn't the prettiest of golf.  We probably should have closed our match out a lot sooner than we did but we kind of took the feel of the match that it wasn't the best of golf, so if we just stayed in the holes and not make any big mistakes, then they were going to have a hard time catching up with us, but it got a bit too close in the end for our liking.
We were a bit unfortunate, a couple of holes in the end, Thorbjørn hit some great shots on 16 and 17 and didn't get anything out of it, and that's the way match play is.  Quite happy with getting a point, we are off to a start and with everybody else doing well.
Yeah, wish it was going to be like that in September.  No, it's nice, I think everybody came in this week and the one thing that we didn't want to do was underestimate our opponents.  We wanted to get off to a fast start.  We wanted to get out here and show that we want to win this and we take it seriously, and it's a credit to every man on this team that they have done that.  You can't underestimate Asian players these days.  There's a lot of good players out here, and if you give them a tiny little finger, they will take your whole arm.
So we have to get back out tomorrow and build on this lead so we have a bit of a cushion going into the singles.
Absolutely.  It's great, you have guys like Jamie and Victor that's very -- if not already in the team, they are certainly got very close and they will get that feeling of playing in these events.  And Jamie out with Graeme today has got a lot of experience, and that will help them just to get the feeling of playing foursomes and four-balls golf.  It's so different and it's so different to be part of a team environment.
So it's a great build for them.  Obviously The Ryder Cup is so different, but just to get that feel of being out on the golf course with a partner and talk through the different shots and stick together on the golf course, that's a huge advantage when you come to September.
Thorbjorn Olesen
Yeah, I think we did.  Thomas played very steady today.  I didn't play well.  I was struggling out there but it was good to finish with a couple of good shots.  But yeah, Thomas kept the ball in play and had some good chances there to win a few holes but we didn't hole any putts really, either.
It was good.  We were up most of the way and we pretty much was in control but we just didn't quite do enough to close the match earlier.  But in general, it was a nice start and it gets hard when everybody else is up intheir matches.  You actually don't want to let the team down even though the team is doing well.  You just kind of feel like you don't want to be the ones that don't win.  So got a bit too close in the end but in general it was a satisfying day.
Definitely we had a few good chances and Thomas had a few chances to win a few holes.  Played very steady and I struggled out there but I finished with a couple of good shots, which was good.  Yeah, it's nice to win the match.