Tanihara and Castano survive nerves in draw

Sat 29 Mar 2014

Tanihara and Castano survive nerves in draw

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Kuala Lumpur, March 29: Japan’s Hideto Tanihara and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano stood out like true warriors as Team Asia and Team Europe shared the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM after a magnificent fightback by the home side in the singles session on Saturday.
Asian captain Thongchai Jaidee and his men entered the final day four points down but they fought gallantly to secure six wins and halved two matches to overcome the odds against Team Europe at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh, playing in the last match of the day, secured a convincing 4 & 3 victory over Stephen Gallacher of Scotland to put Asia up for the first time at 9.5 to 8.5 but Dutchman Joost Luiten holed a brave par save on 18 to ensure a 1-Hole win over Koumei Oda to level the match at 9.5 apiece.
All eyes were then on the remaining match on the course between Tanihara and Fernandez-Castano, which the Japanese never trailed. He needed to hole a gutsy par save on 17 from about five feet to keep the match all square and then had a birdie putt on 18 to win the EurAsia Cup for Team Asia which he agonisingly missed.
After Fernandez-Castano coolly saved par from four feet, the Spaniard sportingly picked up Tanihara’s marker from about a foot and a half to ensure the absorbing contest ended in a draw.
“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 tried my best. I think I'm pretty proud of the way I played the last few holes,” said Fernandez-Castano.
“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. It's totally different when you play for a team. We are not really that used to it. If I could go back, probably 15 again, but apart from that, I played solid and he holed crucial putts at the right time and I think a halve was a fair result for our game.”
Tanihara said he felt under pressure coming down 18 with everything to play for.
“(Heart rate) very high. Really high,” he smiled after the pulsating match. “We are here to play golf and we just had to stay really strong and it was a good experience. It was really fun being here.
“I knew that on 14 that it depended on our group and it would decide everything.  On 16, 17, I had great putts, but my opponent played well. It was really exciting the whole way for me.”
Ends.