Asian quartet promises to deliver at EurAsia Cup

Wed 22 Jan 2014

Asian quartet promises to deliver at EurAsia Cup

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Kuala Lumpur, January 22: Newly crowned Asian Tour number one Kiradech Aphibarnrat will be amongst a quartet of talented young guns to represent Team Asia at the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM in Malaysia from March 27-29.
The burly Thai, the first of four automatic qualifiers from the final 2013 Asian Tour Order of Merit which concluded on Sunday, will be joined by Bangladeshi star Siddikur Rahman, who finished fourth on the rankings and Indian duo Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar, who were third and fifth on the Merit list respectively.
Team Asia’s playing captain Thongchai Jaidee said: “I am delighted that Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Siddikur Rahman, Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar have qualified as the top-four Asians and also accepted the invitation to represent Team Asia for the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM. The four players enjoyed wonderful seasons and I am confident they will represent Asia with pride and vigour as we seek to beat Europe in the inaugural contest at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
“All four players are in their 20s and they have proven themselves to be the new flag bearers for the Asian Tour. It has been exciting to see how they have developed into world-class players with their high level of consistency and performances. I know I can rely upon them to deliver the points against Europe.
“Kiradech has enjoyed a phenomenal rise with some truly eye-catching finishes in Asia and around the world, including winning in Malaysia last year, and his brand of attacking golf is perfect for matchplay golf. Anirban and Gaganjeet are also renowned for their big-hitting games which saw them winning once each in 2013 and I believe they will be very strong opponents against any European player or combination.
“It is also fantastic to see Siddikur coming through as one of our top-four Asian players from the Merit list. He has matured into a top player in Asia and has finished in the top-10 of the Order of Merit in three of the last four seasons, which is a great accomplishment.”
Kiradech, 24, produced an outstanding 2013 campaign where he won the Maybank Malaysian Open and registered five other top-five finishes to be crowned Asia’s new number one. He also finished tied fifth in the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf and is currently ranked 60th in the world.
“I am really excited to play in the EurAsia Cup which I believe will be a great new tournament. As the Order of Merit champion, I will represent Team Asia with pride and will do my very best to fight for the team’s honour. I love playing in Malaysia due to my success there and I’m sure the fans will come out in numbers to support me and Team Asia as we aim to become the first champions of the EurAsia Cup. The standard of play amongst the Asian players has risen over the years and we are capable of matching and beating the Europeans,” said Kiradech.
Lahiri, a three-time winner of the Asian Tour and tied third at the season-ending King’s Cup Golf Hua Hin over the weekend, is confident he can contribute towards Team Asia’s goal of winning the EurAsia Cup.
“I’ve been playing very consistent golf and I hope to bring this form to the team. It’s going to be a very exciting competition between Team Asia and Team Europe and for the fans, I’m sure they’ll be in for a treat. I’m going to give it my best,” said 26-year-old Lahiri, who won the SAIL-SBI Open in India last year.
The 29-year-old Siddikur, who finished a career-high fourth on the 2013 Order of Merit, cannot wait to line up alongside the cream of Asian golf to face Europe in Malaysia.
“I’m very happy to represent Team Asia. It’s a big achievement for me and also my country. There’s huge national pride at stake and it’s always an honour to represent your country or continent, like when I did during the World Cup last year. I feel very proud to be part of what I believe will be a very strong Asian team and I know we’ll do well together,” said Siddikur, who is the reigning Hero Indian Open champion.
The 25-year-old Bhullar, winner of five Asian Tour titles including last November’s Indonesia Open, said:  “It is a great honour and privilege for me to qualify and represent Team Asia. When this event was announced last year, I made it a goal of mine to qualify for the team and I’m glad I’ve achieved this. It will be a pleasure to line-up alongside nine other great Asian players. Europe has the pedigree in matchplay golf but I can tell you that the Asians will be fighting hard till the very last putt to win the first EurAsia Cup. There is no reason why we cannot win this event as we will have a very strong Team Asia on show.”
Datuk Mohamed Razeek Md Hussain, Chief Operating Officer, Services and Properties, DRB-HICOM Berhad, said: “We are delighted to see a very strong Team Asia shaping up with four talented and young golfers qualifying for the EurAsia Cup. With Europe already announcing their first four players as well, it is developing into a very exciting inaugural event.”
Team Europe’s playing captain Miguel Angel Jimenez has previously announced his first four players – Graeme McDowell, Victor Dubuisson, Fernandez Gonzalo-Castano and Jamie Donaldson - from the final Race to Dubai rankings. Jimenez and Thongchai will finalise the remaining five members of their teams in early February through the Official World Golf Rankings and captains’ picks.
Organisers have also made a minor change in the format of play with the first day (March 27, Thursday) now showcasing five fourball matches, followed by five foursomes matches on day two (March 28, Friday) and 10 singles matches on the final day (March 29, Saturday) at Glenmarie’s Garden course.
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 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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