China's Li Haotong helps Team Asia lead in Eurasia Cup

China's Li Haotong helps Team Asia lead in Eurasia Cup

Europe retained the EurAsia Cup after putting on a sensational showing on the final day to tame Asia 14 to 10, courtesy of eight wins in the 12 singles matches on Sunday.

Asia captain Arjun Atwal commended the Europeans on their superior putting skills, which he said made the difference.

Europe won the 2016 edition of the tournament dubbed the "Ryder Cup of the East", with the first in 2014 ending in a 10-10 tie.

Belgium's Thomas Pieters scored the winning point as he beat South Korea's Byeong-hun An by one hole.

"We came out of the session at 3-3 which wasn't what we were looking for, but we live to fight another day", Europe captain Thomas Bjorn said. "There was a determination and a will of wanting to win this".

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's been wonderful to see and I learned a lot about myself and about these 12 players this week, and today their performance was outstanding".

Despite the loss Asia became the first team to lead the tournament for the first two days.

"It looked like every time I watched my players, they were hitting the edges and it seemed Europe, every time I watched them, were either chipping in or making birdies".

Europe won seven of their first eight matches on Sunday to successfully complete the defence of their crown with several matches still to play.

"No one was four or five down after six holes".

Europe started off with wins from Alex Noren, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Tommy Fleetwood before Poom Saksansin cut the deficit by beating Paul Casey.

"It's always nice to get the winning point", he said.

"I got off to a good start, then played pretty poorly during the middle, then made a couple of very good birdies".

But victory for Yuta Ikeda of Japan and Malaysia's Gavin Green proved the turning point for Asia, and they went on to win the final two games and end the day on 6 ½ to Europe's 5 ½.

Englishman Tyrrell Hatton then beat Anirban Lahiri 2&1 before Matthew Fitzpatrick halved his match against Sunghoon Kang.

Japan's Yuta Ikeda and China's Li Haotong salvaged some pride for Team Asia by beating England's Ross Fisher and Ireland's Paul Dunne respectively.

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