EurAsia Cup stars predict bright future for tournament

Mon 31 Mar 2014

EurAsia Cup stars predict bright future for tournament

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Kuala Lumpur, March 31: After the thrilling first edition of the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM resulted in a 10-10 tie between Europe and Asia, many of the event’s biggest stars united in their praise of the event as they welcomed the Prime Minister of Malaysia’s announcement that the biennial competition will take place in his country in 2016 and 2018.
With its future secured, European Captain Miguel Angel Jiménez, Thomas Björn, Graeme McDowell, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, Asian Captain Thongchai Jaidee and Gaganjeet Bhullar were among the first to offer their endorsements of the new team event between Asia and Europe, which further strengthens the partnership of The European and Asian Tours.
“It was a great honour for me to be the Captain of Europe for the first EurAsia Cup and it is great news that the tournament will be played in Malaysia for the next two editions,” said Jiménez.
“It was a great event and really showed team golf at its best, with Europe taking a strong lead but the Asian Team making a fantastic comeback to tie the match. The EurAsia Cup has amazing potential. Team match play events are very special, and we hope the next time that Europe take the trophy home.”
Björn, Chairman of The European Tour’s Players’ Committee, said:  “The EurAsia Cup has a great future ahead and that’s the important thing. The way the tournament unfolded could not have been any better.  It came down to the last match on the last hole: it doesn’t get any better than that.
“Everything about it was brilliant. You've got to take the 20 players out of the frame and look at the bigger picture and to know that it's going to take place in Malaysia for the next two editions gives us a great chance to keep going and continue growing it into a bigger and bigger event.
“As an event for the game of golf in Asia, and in terms of The European and Asian Tours uniting and standing together in partnership, the EurAsia Cup is of huge importance and it's an amazing vehicle to build the game in this part of the world.
“We can make those ties between the tours stronger and make young people more excited about the game, because young people can relate to team competitions more than they can relate to individual sports, and that's one of the things I think this will bring to Asia golf and see how important it is.  It has a great future.”
McDowell, the 2010 US Open Champion and a veteran of three Ryder Cups including two European victories, said: “Team golf is very special. It brings players so close together and last week was another perfect example of that. It was very exciting out there and I just hope this event can go from strength-to-strength and really establish itself as a big match. I think the European Team all enjoyed the week and the tournament certainly it got what it deserved in a very, very exciting finish between two very evenly-matched teams in the end.
“To hear the Prime Minister announce that the tournament will stay in Malaysia for the next two editions was a very strong statement for this event. It has amazing potential.”
Fernandez-Castaño, who holed a four-foot par putt on the 18th green at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club before conceding opponent Hideto Tanihara of Japan’s short putt to ensure the inaugural EurAsia Cup would end in a draw, said: “This is big. This is going to be the next big thing in golf and I'm really proud of being part of the first edition of the EurAsia Cup.”
Thongchai is looking forward to featuring in the EurAsia Cup again in two years’ time after the absorbing first contest.
“I would like to support this tournament. It was a great event and I’m sure it will become bigger and better. We’ve had a great start this week with an amazing match against Europe. I want to play in this event again,” said Thongchai
Bhullar was thrilled to be part of Asia’s stunning comeback, a feat the young Indian feels has given Asian golf and its players a huge boost of confidence.
“I think this week, representing the whole continent and taking that responsibility was a great, great pleasure. I’m looking forward to qualifying for the EurAsia Cup again in the future as we’ve just had a fantastic first event. The week was huge and you could see that it was a great event.
“I think the EurAsia Cup is a great moment for Asian golf because it puts us on the map and I know a lot of people will now take notice of our team and of the Asian Tour.”
Team Asia
Thongchai Jaidee (Captain, Thailand), Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand), Gaganjeet Bhullar (India), Nicholas Fung (Malaysia), Kim Hyung-sung (Korea,) Anirban Lahiri (India), Prayad Marksaeng  (Thailand), Koumei Oda (Japan), Siddikur Rahman (Bangladesh), Hideto Tanihara (Japan).
Team Europe
Miguel Angel Jimenez (Captain, Spain), Thomas Bjorn (Denmark), Jamie Donaldson (Wales), Victor Dubuisson (France), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spain), Stephen Gallacher (Scotland), Pablo Larrazabal (Spain), Joost Luiten (Netherlands), Graeme McDowell (N Ireland), Thorbjorn Olesen (Denmark).
Ends
About DRB-HICOM Berhad
DRB-HICOM Berhad (DRB-HICOM) is one of Malaysia’s leading conglomerates with core businesses in the Automotive; Services; and Property, Asset & Construction sectors. With more than 80 active companies in its stable and over 57,000 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, DRB-HICOM is involved in various businesses, including concession and financial-related services. In Property, Asset & Construction, DRB-HICOM is involved in residential and commercial developments. Visit www.drb-hicom.com
About Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM)
Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM) is a Company Limited by Guarantee, registered on 5th August 2010 in Malaysia. As a non-profit organisation, PGM’s objectives are to promote the sport of golf and to contribute towards its enjoyment and growth. To conduct and/or coordinate training on golf-related courses in order to enhance the playing capabilities and skills of professional golfers, as well as to promote and/or conduct a golf Tour or events as a means to hone their skills and to elevate the standards of the professional golfers in Malaysia. PGM provides a platform for Malaysia’s professional golfers to enable them to focus on playing while PGM shoulders the responsibility of arranging and financing these tournaments. To achieve these objectives, PGM organises a series of golf tournaments on an annual basis. For the year 2012, PGM hosted 20 tournaments offering RM3 million in prize money, seven of which were co-sanctioned with the Asian Development Tour. The schedule for 2013 features 22 tournaments offering prize money of over RM4 million, 10 of which are co-sanctioned with the Asian Development Tour and three with the ASEAN Tour. The expansion of the Tour on an annual basis and the increased prize money is an indicator of its vibrant growth year-on-year.
About the 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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.
About The European Tour
The European Tour is committed to celebrating the game of golf from the origins of the professional game, building a proud history of achievement, sportsmanship and integrity as well as showcasing our diverse global talent and rich landscapes. The European Tour's innovative approach enables us to embrace the world, combining championships of tradition with new tournaments in the cities and countries of the future. The European Tour International Schedule, which from 2009 has incorporated The Race to Dubai, is a thriving global brand which, in 2013, will feature a minimum of 45 tournaments spread across all five continents of the world; the European Challenge Tour focuses on the up and coming players of the future; while the European Senior Tour provides a new start for champions celebrating their 50th birthday. The European Tour’s corporate identity features the iconic silhouette image of six-time Open Champion Harry Vardon who gives his name to The Harry Vardon Trophy, presented to the player who is crowned European Tour Number One and winner of The Race to Dubai at the end of the season.
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