EurAsia Cup Team Europe captain Thomas Bjorn is already planing his strategy to defend the trophy next January in the third edition of the team matchplay event against Asia.
“My job is to put a strategy in place with the players I have. In my head at the moment, I’m making out a plan. I’m very deep into stats, very deep into looking at where they are form wise and from there I will make a plan and have good conversations with them,” said Bjorn during a press conference at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club yesterday.
“For a lot of European golfers, it is difficult because the EurAsia Cup will be their first tournament of the year. They will come out from their winter training and it is for me to keep them in check and come out to perform to their highest level,” added the Dane, who is also Europe’s 2018 Ryder Cup captain.
Bjorn noted that the event will give him a good indication of where some of his younger players stand in the matchplay format in view of the Ryder Cup in France next September.
“There are a lot of players whom I’ve seen in that environment before. There are also the new players where it is their first test in many years for team golf. Most of them come from the amateur ranks where they’ve played team golf and represented their country. It gives me a good indication of where some of them are,” he noted.
However, Bjorn stressed that his focus will be on retaining the EurAsia Cup against what is expected to be a strong Asian side led by Indian legend Arjun Atwal.
“I can’t just put my Ryder Cup cap on. I need to put my EurAsia Cup cap on and we come in and focus during the week. We need to have a team who will face a strong Asian team. If I take my focus off during the week then I don’t think we will have as a good a chance of winning,” he said.
The EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM takes place on January 12-14 at Glenmarie’s Garden Course, which was also the venue in 2014 and 2016. The two 12-man teams will contest six fourball matches on Friday and six foursomes matches on Saturday, before 12 singles matches determine the winning team on Sunday.
Europe romped to a comprehensive 18½-5½ win in the last edition, lifting the trophy outright for the first time after the inaugural event, featuring ten-man teams, ended in a 10-10 tie.
QUALIFICATION CRITERIA – TEAM EUROPE
The European Team shall comprise the following European Tour members:-
– The leading ten available players from the final 2017 Race to Dubai Rankings
– The team captain will choose the remaining two players in the week commencing Monday 20 November.
QUALIFICATION CRITERIA – TEAM ASIA
The Asian Team shall comprise the following Asian Tour members:-
(a) Top four available players from the Asian Tour Order of Merit as at 27 November.
(b) Top four available players from the Official World Golf Rankings as at 27 November.
(c) The team captain will choose the remaining four players in the week commencing Monday 27 November.