Europe names 4 more players for EurAsia Cup

Tue 04 Feb 2014

Europe names 4 more players for EurAsia Cup

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February 4: Thomas Björn, Stephen Gallacher, Miguel Angel Jiménez and Joost Luiten have qualified to represent Europe at the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented DRB-HICOM.
Those four players join Graeme McDowell, Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño as the eight automatic qualifiers for the European team, which will be captained by Jiménez, at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur from March 27-29.
The Spaniard announced the second batch of four qualifiers, taken from Official World Golf Ranking, at The European Tour’s Wentworth headquarters today (Monday), just hours after Gallacher’s brilliant victory in the Dubai Desert Classic  propelled the Scotsman into the world’s top 40.
Jiménez said: “I have a very nice team with the addition of these qualifiers. Thomas Björn has been playing very well for some time and particularly at the end of last year in winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge. He is right on form.
“Stephen Gallacher has just won in Dubai for the second year in a row at the Emirates so he is clearly hitting the ball very well. Then we have Joost Luiten, who beat me last year in Holland, and he is a very good player who is improving all the time. He is very consistent.
“And then there is me with half a century on my shoulders but I can still play some golf! I won at the end of last year in Hong Kong and I’m really looking forward to leading this side in the first EurAsia Cup.
“The combination of experience and the power of youth will work very well. Graeme McDowell, Thomas and I have plenty of experience from many Ryder Cups and playing all around the world for many years while the young guns bring power and fresh spirit. It’s a great mixture for any team.”
With 35 European Tour wins and six Ryder Cup appearances between them, Björn and Jiménez will bring a wealth of experience to the ten-man European team to face Thongchai Jaidee’s Asian side at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club, while Gallacher and Luiten are two of the latest European stars to have recently broken into the elite top 50 of the world game.
Björn has been in brilliant form of late, winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge against a world class field in December before continuing that fine form in January to put himself in pole position in The Race to Dubai.
He said: “I am looking forward to the event and really happy to be able to support Miguel and the team because it is an event that has real potential with Europe taking on Asia. A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes to make the event happen and to be a part of the first one will be great.
“We are going to have a really good team that has a very good balance to it. Obviously Miguel, Graeme and I will bring a lot of experience and hopefully we can help the young guys realise what these team events, and representing Europe and our Tour, are all about.
“There are a lot of players on our team who will have a great chance to play The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and it will be great for Paul (McGinley) to see them in the team environment and look at how they handle it all.
“It will be a very hard competition to win because the Asian team is full of top class players and will be desperate to win on their home turf. The heat and conditions will be to their advantage too, but if we play to the best of our abilities we can win.”
Gallacher, now a three time winner on The European Tour, was still pinching himself after defeating Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and co to become the first man in the 25 year history of the Dubai Desert Classic to successfully defend the title, but was delighted to have qualified for Jiménez’s team.
The Scotsman said: “Winning in Dubai again has put me in the top 50 which obviously opens a lot of doors for me.  I didn’t realise how quickly the first one would open though and it’s brilliant to be part of the European team for the EurAsia Cup.”
Luiten, another three time winner on Tour, is relishing the chance to represent Europe again, having played a starring role in the most recent edition of the Seve Trophy, where Continental Europe defeated Great Britain and Ireland.
The Dutchman said: “I can’t wait to play the EurAsia Cup. It is totally different when you play a team event and it a great opportunity to spend some time with a lot of guys who have a lot of experience and see how they do it and to learn about playing for Europe. That should help me grow as a player and we have a great mix of players and a strong team as well as an amazing captain in Miguel. It’s certainly not going to be a boring week!”
Jiménez will add two captain’s picks to complete his 10-man team to face Asia in the near future.
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 100 active companies in its stable and around 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 entire value chain of the automotive eco-system from R&D, manufacturing of components, and manufacturing, assembly and distribution of passenger and commercial vehicles, including the national car and 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 among others. 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), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) 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 PGA European Tour, a company limited by guarantee, operates a broad range of business initiatives essential to its primary mission of administering professional tournament golf. It is a unique business which generates profits for the benefit of the Members – the tournament players – who receive their dividends by way of competing and winning prize money. The European Tour International Schedule, which from 2009 incorporated the inaugural Race to Dubai, is a thriving global brand; the European Challenge Tour focuses on the future; and 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 and a world skyline graphic depicting many of the geographical elements built into The 2014 Race to Dubai, which will feature a minimum of 48 tournaments in 26 countries.