Europe will take a massive 9-3 lead into the final day of the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM after dominating today’s foursomes at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club.
England’s Ian Poulter, together with compatriot Danny Willett, secured the continent’s first point in the top match as Europe earned 4 ½ points for the second day running to extend their advantage to 9-3.
But it was not all plain sailing for Clarke’s team, who were trailing in four of the day’s six matches when Poulter and Willett reached the turn. Poulter, who along with Bernd Wiesberger delivered the visitors’ first point in the fourball matches on Friday, was on song again as he and Willett beat Byeonghun An and Thongchai Jaidee 3 & 2.
Shane Lowry and Andy Sullivan combined to deliver a point for the second day in succession, beating Shingo Katayama and Prayad Marksaeng 3 & 2. Wiesberger and Ross Fisher recovered from losing the first hole to beat K.T. Kim and Jeunghun Wang by two holes, while Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick cruised to a 5 & 4 win over Anirban Lahiri and Wu Ashun.
Victor Dubuisson and Søren Kjeldsen finished all square in their match with Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung for the second straight day while Kristoffer Broberg and Chris Wood lost by two holes to Kiradech Aphibarnrat and S.S.P. Chawrasia in match three.
Clarke, who will also captain Europe in the Ryder Cup in September, is refusing to let his guard down although Europe need only 3 ½ points from 12 singles matches on Sunday to win the EurAsia Cup, which was tied 10-10 in the inaugural edition two years ago.
“I go back to Brookline in 1999 when we had a big lead and lost. We obviously have a commanding lead right now, but there’s still a lot of golf to play tomorrow against a very strong Asian team. So under no circumstances will we underestimate the challenge that we still have to do. But at the same time I’m obviously delighted for the team that we are in this position.
“There’s no hands on any trophy in any golf tournament until you finish the last hole on a Sunday afternoon. I have been in the game too long to know that, whether it’s a stroke play or a team tournament. I think we’re probably in for another exciting day tomorrow again.”
Singh, a two-time Asian Tour number one, was disappointed with the day’s outcome after red scores dominated the early leaderboard before Europe started to take control of the session.
“I think the start was amazing. When I saw red out there, I said the boys are going to get the thing rolling today. But that’s all right. At least we got 1 1/2 points, and looking back two years ago, we were in a similar situation, and the boys pulled through.
“And I still believe with the pairings that have come out, my boys are going to do well tomorrow. I think in golf, I believe in the saying, anything is possible until the last putt is not holed out. So I’m hoping and I believe that my boys are going to go out there and give it their best shot.”
Foursomes Results (Team Europe first)
Ian Poulter/Danny Willett bt Byeonghun An/Thongchai Jaidee 3 & 2
Bernd Wiesberger/Ross Fisher bt K.T. Kim/Jeunghun Wang 2UP
Kristoffer Broberg/Chris Wood lost to S.S.P. Chawrasia/Kiradech Aphibarnrat 2UP
Shane Lowry/Andy Sullivan bt Prayad Marksaeng/Shingo Katayama 3 & 2
Soren Kjeldsen/Victor Dubusison and Danny Chia/Nicholas Fung halved
Lee Westwood/Matthew Fitzpatrick bt Anirban Lahiri/Wu Ashun 5 & 4