Thongchai confident of EurAsia Cup win

Tue 04 Mar 2014

Thongchai confident of EurAsia Cup win

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Kuala Lumpur, March 4: Team Asia Captain, Thongchai Jaidee, is looking forward to this month’s EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM from March 27-29 and the 44-year-old Thai golfer is excited ahead of the challenge at the inaugural event.
“I’m really looking forward to captaining Team Asia. I believe I have a very strong squad which is capable of challenging and beating Team Europe. I’ve been talking to the Asian players in recent weeks about the possible pairings and everyone is very excited to come together under Team Asia and playing in Malaysia.”
Thongchai is aware that as Team Asia’s captain he has to set the example and lead from the front.
“As captain, I believe I need to lead by example and that means playing my best possible golf to deliver points for the team. Match play golf is always very exciting and the scores very close, so I will be ready to give everything I have for my team. We are fighting for our pride and honour and as captain, I am ready to do that, and hopefully inspire the other nine players to produce their best golf for the team.”
Thongchai, a three-time Asian Tour number one, shows his experience when speaking about the spirit of the team and the importance of the few days they have together leading up to the tournament.
“Most of my team play on the Asian Tour, so we know each other very well. Although Kim Hyung-Sung, Koumei Oda and Hideto Tanihara are Japan Tour regulars, they have also played regularly in the co-sanctioned tournaments between the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour and I believe all 10 players will bond strongly together for one common goal – which is to win the EurAsia Cup!
“We are all scheduled to arrive in Glenmarie on the Monday of the tournament week and that is when we will start preparing for the matches as a team. It is important for us to do everything together as a unit.”
The makeup of Team Asia team excites Thongchai and he describes their strengths.
“Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Siddikur Rahman and Anirban Lahiri all qualified as the top-four Asians from the Asian Tour Order of Merit. They are all in their 20s and their qualification is a reflection of the rise of the new generation of players in Asia. They are all very exciting players who have achieved success at such a young age and their presence in Team Asia is a reflection of their abilities.
“Koumei Oda, Hideto Tanihara and Kim Hyung-sung enjoyed fantastic seasons in Japan last year and they are all very capable of matching up against the Europeans. The trio are all attacking players which will suit the Match play competitions well.”
Thongchai and Team Europe Captain, Miguel-Angel Jimenez, were allowed two of their own “Captains” picks and Thongchai explains his choices:
“I picked Nicholas Fung as he is the top local Malaysian golfer and he enjoyed a solid 2013 campaign and I felt it would be important to have the best Malaysian player on my team. I also picked Prayad Marksaeng who won twice in 2013 on the Asian Tour and with his vast experience; he will provide the guiding hands with our younger players. “
The Match play format clearly excites the Team Asia Captain; he talks about having to be bold and the importance of his pairings.
“Match play is very exciting as you’re playing against another player. Strategies may change if your opponent hits it into the hazard or sticks the ball close to the pin, which is why Match play sees great shots being produced as a player may need to go for a shot which he would not normally take on in a stroke play competition. Players must be prepared to go for broke when the situation warrants it, hence there is immense pressure. Team work and good pairings are essential so that the players can keep each other loose and relaxed on the golf course.”
Thongchai is hoping the crowds will show a similar passion to the Ryder Cup crowd and cheer Team Asia onto a famous victory.
“We have seen in the Ryder Cup how the home fans have become the “15th club” for the home team through their passionate support. I have played in Malaysia for a very long time and I know the fans love their golf. With my success in the Malaysian Open in the past and with Kiradech being the reigning Malaysian Open champion, I’m sure we will have plenty of local support which will be important for the team as we seek to win the EurAsia Cup!”
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).
Tickets for the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM are available for purchase via online and hotline. Golf fans can purchase tickets on www.ticketpro.com.my or call +603 7880 7999 for further details.
Tickets are priced as follow: Day 1 RM78, Day 2 RM78, Day 3 RM78 and Season Ticket RM158. Entry is free for children under the age of 16. Entry is free to all on March 26, Wednesday which is the pro-am day.
Each ticket will include a voucher for a free EurAsia Cup team cap. This can be redeemed on site at the EurAsia Cup at the Official Merchandise shop at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
The format of play for the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM will see five fourball matches being played on the first day (March 27, Thursday) 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.
The EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour. Professional Golf Malaysia (PGM) will act as the local facilitator for the event.
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.