Team Asia’s playing captain Thongchai Jaidee has selected Malaysia’s Nicholas Fung as his first captain’s pick for the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM.
Fung’s selection was announced today during a press conference at Glenmarie Gardens, along with Japanese players Koumei Oda and Hideto Tanihara and Korea’s Kim Hyung-sung who earned their places in the Asian side through the Official World Golf Ranking selection criteria. A second captain’s pick will be named later to complete the 10-man Team Asia line-up which will face Team Europe, led by playing captain Miguel Angel Jimenez, in the Ryder Cup-styled showdown at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club this March 27-29.
“As Malaysia’s leading player over the past couple of years, I felt that we needed to have the top local player in Team Asia to carry our challenge,” said Thongchai, a three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner.
“Nicholas has become a strong golfer and I was pleased to see him winning the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit title in 2013 and also earn his full Asian Tour card by finishing 36th on the Order of Merit through two very strong performances in the Indonesia Open and Resorts World Manila Masters at the end of last season,” added the Thai legend.
Fung rose to prominence last season by topping the Asian Development Tour Order of Merit following one victory and six other top-10s. He was also fifth in the Resorts World Manila Masters and runner-up in the Indonesia Open on the Asian Tour, finishing 36th on the Order of Merit to earn full playing rights for the 2014 season.
“I am honoured that Thongchai has selected me as one of his captain’s picks. It is a great privilege to be the sole Malaysian representative in Team Asia and I can’t wait for the EurAsia Cup to start,” said Fung.
“I enjoyed a good season in 2013 and I hope to continue to play my best golf for Team Asia in March. It will be extremely exciting to tee up in Malaysia alongside many other great Asian players to face Europe. I intend to compete with pride and fight for our team’s honour,” added the 24-year-old Sabahan.
New Asian Tour number one Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand, Bangladeshi Siddikur Rahman and Indian duo Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar qualified for Team Asia after finishing as the top four Asian players on the final 2013 Asian Tour Order of Merit.
Europe has already named Major champion and Ryder Cup hero Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Frenchman Victor Dubuisson and Jamie Donaldson of Wales from the 2013 Race to Dubai rankings while Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn, Dutchman Joost Luiten, Scotsman Stephen Gallacher and Jimenez qualified through the world ranking. Jimenez will announce his two captain’s picks in due course.
The press conference was also attended by Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, Chairman of Professional Golf of Malaysia (PGM), Datuk Mohammed Razeek Md Hussain, Chief Operating Officer, Services and Properties of DRB-HICOM Berhad, Kyi Hla Han, chairman of Asian Tour and Charlie Tingey, Senior Director of EurAsia Golf Ltd.
The format of play for the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM will see five fourball matches being played on the first day (March 27, Thursday) followed by five foursomes matches on day two (March 28, Friday) and 10 singles matches on the final day (March 29, Saturday) at Glenmarie’s Garden course.