Pieters scores winning point as Europe defend EurAsia Cup

Aubrey Yates
January 14, 2018

Asia had led by a slim margin coming into the individual play, but they were soundly beaten by the Europeans, who are using the match play tournament as a dress rehearsal for the Ryder Cup later this year.

"It was a great performance today from every single one of them", said the Dane.

The win in the $4.8 million tournament will come as a relief for Bjorn, who is also Europe's Ryder Cup captain and is gearing up for the showdown against the United States of America in September.

"And from there to go out and do the job the way they did shows a lot about the character of these guys and character of European golf".

"To sit on the sidelines and watch them do what they do best has been a tremendous pleasure", added Bjorn.

Alex Noren claimed a commanding 4&2 win, which never looked in doubt after the Swede hit the turn 3up, in the lead match over Nicholas Fung before Rafa Cabrera Bello secured the second point of the day with a resounding 4&3 success over the previously unbeaten Gavin Green.

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Raced to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood beat India's S.S.P Chawrasia 2-1, and Sweden's Henrik Stenson then defeated Japan's Hideto Tanihara 2-1.

Bernd Wiesberger then triumphed over Phachara Khongwatmai 2 and 1 in a high quality duel of golf that featured 10 birdies and two eagles between them.

A 3-2 victory for England's Matthew Fitzpatrick and Belgium's Thomas Pieters against Thailand's Poom Saksansin and South Korea's Kang Sung-hoon extended Team Europe's lead to two points.

Thomas Bjorn's side put blue on the board early doors - winning seven of their first eight matches - and claimed eight points from the 12 singles matches, with Asia securing three wins and the remaining match finishing all square.

Debutants Saksansin and Kang got off to a hot start when they birdied the opening eight holes and completed a remarkable victory on the 14th hole. "I got off to a good start, then played pretty poorly during the middle, then made a couple of very good birdies", he said.

Asia finished the day with victories in the final two matches as Yuta Ikeda - the only Asia player to win all his matches - and Haotong Li - unbeaten during the week - defeated British Masters champion Paul Dunne. "But I'm proud of my players, every single one of them".

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