Shah Alam, Malaysia: Reigning Asian Tour Order of Merit champion Anirban Lahiri of India is ready to get Team Asia’s first point when the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM gets underway with the opening Fourball session on Friday.
The Indian star will partner Korea’s Jeunghun Wang in the first match off against England’s Ian Poulter and Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club which is expected to be a hotly-contested one.
“I'm really looking forward to it. I think it's an honour to be going out first for Team Asia and I know it's going to be a lot of fun.
“It's going to be critical that we get off to a good start, and we’ll just go out there and be aggressive. Tomorrow is Fourball, so we can both play our natural game, which is to make a lot of birdies,” said Lahiri.
While 20-year-old Wang will be making his debut at the EurAsia Cup, Lahiri, a seven-time Asian Tour winner, is confident his partner, who finished ninth on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit last season, will rise to the occasion and give Team Asia the early advantage.
“He's (Wang) a big talent and he's probably at a similar stage to where I was two years back. I'm just going to try to help him play freely. This week, we are all one team and the camaraderie is fantastic. Going into Friday, this is what we need. We are all relaxed and focused,” said Lahiri.
Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee and Korea’s Byeonghun An will feature in Team Asia’s second match against the English pair of Danny Willett and Matthew Fitzpatrick.
Having led Team Asia to an enthralling 10-10 draw as playing captain in the inaugural EurAsia Cup in 2014, Thongchai is looking forward to another close contest against Team Europe.
“It’s important to get those early points for the team. Course management will be crucial and I’m looking forward to a good partnership with An. We have to try to win every match and that’s what we have set out to do, starting tomorrow,” said the three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner.
An, last season’s European Tour Rookie of the Year, is also eager to get off the blocks quickly with his experienced partner and believes the trust he has in Thongchai will be key in their match.
“I'm really excited to play with Thongchai, who is a great player with good experience. I’ve to do my part and I'm sure he'll do his. I trust his game and we’ll see what happens.
“I think I know his game and he knows my mine. So we can take care of each other. It makes me feel really comfortable playing with someone I know and that’s what Jeev wants us to feel comfortable,” said the 24-year-old Korean.