• EurAsia Cup

Asia share spoils with Europe after stunning comeback

ESPN staff
March 29, 2014
Captains Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thongchai Jaidee show off the trophy with their teams © Getty Images

Asia almost pulled off a repeat of Europe's 'Miracle at Medinah' when they came back to draw the inaugural EurAsia Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

Thongchai Jaidee's side were whitewashed 5-0 in the opening day's fourballs and trailed 7-3 following Friday's foursome matches, meaning Europe needed just three-and-a-half points from Saturday's singles matches.

But player-captain Jaidee and his men rallied to level the match at 10-10 to share the spoils, falling just short of matching Europe's famous achievement at the 2012 Ryder Cup.

How the final day unfolded

  • Jaidee beat McDowell 3&2 (Asia 4-7 Europe)
  • Fung lost to Jimenez by one hole (4-8)
  • Aphibarnrat beat Bjorn 2&1 (5-8)
  • Hyung-sung beat Larrazabal 4&2 (6-8)
  • Marksaeng tied with Donaldson (6.5-8.5)
  • Bhullar beat Olesen 4&3 (7.5-8.5)
  • Lahiri beat Dubuisson 2&1 (8.5-8.5)
  • Rahman beat Gallacher 4&3 (9.5-8.5)
  • Oda lost to Luiten by one hole (9.5-9.5)
  • Tanihara tied with Castano (10-10)

Jaidee recorded a 3&2 win over Graeme McDowell to kick-start a fight back and, after five Asia victories, two Europe wins and a tie, it all came down to Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano's match with Hideto Tanihara.

All-square on the 18th tee, neither player was able to find a decisive birdie and, after Fernandez-Castano held his nerve to hole from three feet for par, he conceded Tanihara's shorter putt to ensure a share of the spoils.

After Jaidee's win, fellow player-captain Miguel Angel Jimenez needed all his experience - and a birdie at 18 - to beat young Malaysian Nicholas Fung and restore Europe's four-point lead.

The advantage was cut to two when Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat recovered from one-down with four to play to beat Thomas Bjorn, before Kim Hyung-sung thrashed Pablo Larrazabal 4&2.

Prayad Marksaeng and Jamie Donaldson traded birdies at 18 to tie their match, but Gaganjeet Bhullar put another point on the board for Asia with comfortable 4&3 victory over Thorbjorn Olesen.

And the match was tied and 8.5 points each when Anirban Lahiri won the 16th and 17th holes to beat in-form Victor Dubuisson 2&1.

Asia led for the first time all week when Scotland's Stephen Gallacher lost his ball with a wild tee shot at 15 to seal a heavy defeat to Siddikur Rahman, but Dutchman Joost Luiten held his nerve to hole from five feet for par at 18 and seal a win over Japan's Koumei Oda.

It meant it all came down to Fernandez-Castano and Tanihara. The Spaniard missed a short par putt on 15 to fall one behind, but a stunning eagle at the next hole levelled the contest again.

Tanihara then saved par from 10 feet at 17 and, with neither player really threatening a winning birdie, Europe held its breath as Fernandez-Castano holed a tricky three-footer to ensure a share of the trophy.

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