Team Europe dominates singles to avoid stunning defeat at EurAsia Cup


Europe mounted a dominant performance in the singles to retain the EurAsia Cup in Kuala Lumpur. Trailing by a point after the first four-ball and foursomes sessions, Europe won the singles 8 ½-3 ½ to win the match 14-10.

Thomas Bjorn’s side won seven of the first eight matches to put the result beyond doubt. Belgium’s Thomas Pieters earned the winning point when he defeated Byeong Hun An, 1 up.

There were also wins for Alex Noren, Tommy Fleetwood, Henrik Stenson, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Bernd Wiesberger, Alexander Levy and Tyrrell Hatton.

Hatton and Fleetwood won three points out of three on their EurAsia Cup debuts, and will want to replicate that form in this year’s Ryder Cup in Paris.

“It’s been an amazing experience for me, seeing as it’s my first time in a team event as a pro,” Hatton said.

“We needed a big day today. The lads have gone out there and done a job, which is fantastic.”

The comeback spared Bjorn’s blushes. It was the Dane’s first experience of captaining a European team ahead of the Ryder Cup. Bjorn’s side was stronger on paper, but Arjun Atwal’s Asian team gave Europe a scare over the first two days.

“There was maybe a bit of a change in atmosphere in the team room,” Bjorn said. “There was a lot of determination, a lot of willing to go out and win a point and most of them did that today.

“I’m very proud of them – a great team, great morale. They knew they had to keep going until the end, they knew they were up against something – there was a special atmosphere in that Asian team – and they knew they had to work hard.

“Today, I can only say that every single one of them stood up and did everything they could, and I’m just very proud of these boys.

“We wanted to win, we didn’t want to travel this far at this time of the year not to win.

“We wanted to come out here and show that European golf is more than 12 strong.”

Bjorn will hope to make a similar speech at the end of the Ryder Cup.

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