McDowell confident EurAsia Cup will become big event

Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thongchai Jaidee pose with the Eurasia trophy
Miguel Angel Jimenez and Thongchai Jaidee pose with the Eurasia trophy

Graeme McDowell believes the EurAsia Cup has a bright future after the inaugural staging in Malaysia finished in a draw.

Trailing 7-3 going into the singles session – and having been 5-0 behind after the first day’s fourball session – not many observers gave Thongchai Jaidee’s Asia team much realistic hope of turning matters around.

But they did just that, winning the session 7-3 to see the gleaming silver trophy shared at the end of the day with Miguel Angel Jiménez’s European troops.

“Team golf is very special. It brings players so close together,” said McDowell who was beaten by Jaidee in the singles.

“You experience a lot, and it was very exciting out there. You know, let’s hope this event can go from strength-to-strength and really establish itself as a big match.

“You know, I think we all as a team enjoyed the week, and you know, certainly it got what it deserved in a very, very exciting finish and two very evenly-matched teams in the end. I certainly enjoyed every minute of the week.”

And he added; “I feel like we were very lucky to get the half in the end. It took some great golf from Miguel, Joost, Jamie, and Gonzo in the last match.

“We fought hard for every point we got today, and I think we probably feel a little bit of relief that we got a half.”

In the end, the fate of the EurAsia Cup – with the score tied at 9 ½ - 9 ½ - lay in the hands of Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño and Hideto Tanihara Fernandez-Castaño ara of Japan, whose ding-dong battle saw them all square playing the last hole in the last match on the course.

With both players on the 18th green in two, Fernandez-Castaño putted down to four feet while Tanihara’s effort stopped a foot and a half from the hole.

The Spaniard held his nerve to roll in his par effort before conceding the Japanese player’s putt.

“I’m happy the way I performed under pressure but I have to say that was the most nervous I’ve ever been,” said the seven time Euro Tour champion.