Shah Alam, Malaysia: Rising star Byeonghun An believes Team Asia Captain Jeev Milkha Singh’ strategy in keeping the squad relaxed and comfortable will pay off big time at the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM which begins on Friday.
The 24-year-old Korean, Europe’s Rookie of the Year last season, said the multi-nation Team Asia, who are represented by players from six different countries, have gelled superbly since the start of the week at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
“As a captain, definitely, he's a good captain. As soon as I got here, I felt really comfortable. I felt like at home, I guess. He's trying to make us comfortable any way he can, and every time he'll tell us first or ask us first, how are you feeling, and he says, ask any questions if you want. I think it's a really good thing,” said An.
“My teammates are really nice. In the team room, there are a lot of laughs, smiles and especially Captain Jeev, he's been really nice to us. I really like it. I love the atmosphere in the team room. I'm enjoying it a lot so far, and I'm sure I will feel it more until Sunday.
“It's definitely good to know the team, but the last couple days and even today was great to know them and see their games. I love playing with them, so it's really fun. I'm looking forward to it,” added An, who partnered Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee in practice today.
Ranked 29th in the world, An, whose parents are Olympic medallists in table tennis, enjoyed a superb season on the European Tour last year where he won one title and posted eight top-10s. He hopes to translate his form and help Team Asia claim what would be a popular victory at the Glenmarie.
“I think we’ve got a strong Asian team here. We’ll be trying to win for sure,” he said.
Korean prospect Jeunghun Wang, who is one of Singh’s picks, hopes to repay the faith of his captain with a strong showing at the EurAsia Cup. At 20, Wang is the baby of the team but his teammates are predicting big things from the youngster.
“I’m playing for the first time in the EurAsia Cup and I'm very honoured and also very confident. I feel that there's no need to be nervous because our team is very solid this year. I'll just try to do my best to help my team win,” said Wang, who finished ninth on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit last season.
S.S.P. Chawrasia of India, who is a three-time Asian Tour winner, is also anxious to tee off on the opening day’s Fourball session on Friday but warned that the Foursomes (alternate shot) format on Saturday could prove vital.
“When we play a practice round, we normally play Fourballs (in regular tournaments). So you're used to Fourballs. I don't think there's any problem. The only problem I think is Foursomes, which I practiced the last couple of weeks at my home with friends. I don't think I have a problem teaming up with anybody in Asia,” said Chawrasia.
Shingo Katayama, a 29-time winner on the Japan Golf Tour, is the only Japanese on the team but he does not feel like the odd man out in the 12-man team.
“I've known Jeev for a long time. I've been playing the Japan Tour and I know him from always playing in tournaments, consecutively, always on the road. As the captain, he's very kind and helpful, and I'm very happy to have him as a captain,” said Katayama.