Ryder Cup PrepJanuary 14, 2018

Sunday singles rally allows Europe to pull out victory at EurAsia Cup

Thomas Bjorn
Stuart FranklinEurope captain Thomas Bjorn reacts during the singles matches on Day 3 of the 2018 EurAsia Cup.

As far as dress rehearsals go, the EurAsia Cup proved to be a bit more challenging than European captain Thomas Bjorn had hoped for. Yet with an eye toward preparing for the Ryder Cup in September, Bjorn and his European squad rallied in Sunday singles, winning eight of the first nine matches after starting the day one point behind, to beat their Asian counterparts, 14-10.

Belgium’s Thomas Pieters earned the decisive point at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, defeating South Korea’s Byeong-Hun, 1 up.

The European side had six of the world’s top 20 competing, compared to an Asian squad with just one from the top 40 and half the team ranked outside the top 100. Still, the home side won Friday’s four-balls, 3½-2½, and split the Saturday foursomes, 3-3.

Yet the Euros took back momentum on Sunday. Alex Noren started the day with a 4-and-2 win over Nicholas Fung. He was followed with wins by Tommy Fleetwood (who was undefeated on the week), Henrik Stenson, Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Bernd Wiesberger, Alexander Levy and Tyrrell Hatton.

Stuart Franklin

Europe's Thomas Pieters shakes hands with Asia's Byeong Hun An after winning his match during Sunday singles at the 2018 EurAsia Cup.

“They knew they had to keep going until the end,” Bjorn said, “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.”