Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

EurAsia Cup: Li puts Team Asia ahead

EurAsia Cup: Li puts Team Asia ahead

Team Asia produced another inspired performance at Saturday's Foursomes matches to maintain a one-point advantage over Team Europe at the EurAsia Cup.

Asia rallied to take the lead with Yuta Ikeda and Gavin Green beating Thomas Pieters and Matthew Fitzpatrick 2 and 1, before Poom Saksansin and Kang Sung-hoon defeated Henrik Stenson and Alex Levy 5 and 4.

"I have sermonised them, I have just been speaking to them and making them believe in themselves and to have fun and give their best".

Li and Fung were 2-up after the turn but Team Europe bounced back superbly to lead 1-up in their match when they birdied, eagled and birdied the 10th, 11th and 12th holes respectively before Li holed a 15-feet birdie on the 18th hole to snatch a late draw.

The most spectacular moment of the day's play came in its closing moments when China's Li fired a last-gasp birdie to halve his match against Austria's Bernd Wiesberger and Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello, and put Team Asia in the lead.

"In terms of how all-consuming the captaincy is, I really feel it's on my mind 24/7", he said. I'm not surprised or shocked by our results so far.

Race to Dubai victor Tommy Fleetwood and Henrik Stenson put Europe on the board as they tied the overall score Saturday by handing the visitors a 3 and 2 win over Indian pairing Anirban Lahiri and S.S.P Chawrasia.

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"We knew this Asian team is very strong and very much ready to play", he told reporters.

Trailing 3.5-2.5 after Friday's fourballs, Thomas Bjorn's side quickly erased the deficit and then moved ahead by winning three of the first four matches at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.

"It feels great. I love matchplay, especially when you have a partner like Tommy Fleetwood", said Casey, who was one of Bjorn's two wildcard selections.

The pair upstaged India's S.S.P. Chawrasia and Anirban Lahiri courtesy of seven birdies, including a five-foot birdie putt from Fleetwood which sealed the win on the 16th hole.

Hideto Tanihara of Japan and Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand, the youngest player on Team Asia at the age of 18, also secured victory on the 18th hole when they beat Alex Noren and Paul Dunne by two holes.

However, the Arjun Atwal-captained Asia team, finished with a flourish by picking up the remaining three points to end the day 6.5 - 5.5 ahead, retaining its hopes of winning a first EurAsia Cup title at the third edition of the event.

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