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Monday, 31 March 2014
Thomas Bjorn   (Getty Images)
Thomas Bjorn (Getty Images)
After the thrilling first edition of the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM resulted in a 10-10 tie between Europe and Asia, many of the event’s biggest stars united in their praise of the event as they welcomed the Prime Minister of Malaysia’s announcement that the biennial competition will take place in his country in 2016 and 2018.

With its future secured, European Captain Miguel Angel Jiménez, Thomas Björn, Graeme McDowell, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, Asian Captain Thongchai Jaidee and Gaganjeet Bhullar were among the first to offer their endorsements of the new team event between Asia and Europe, which further strengthens the partnership of The European and Asian Tours.

“It was a great honour for me to be the Captain of Europe for the first EurAsia Cup and it is great news that the tournament will be played in Malaysia for the next two editions,” said Jiménez.

“It was a great event and really showed team golf at its best, with Europe taking a strong lead but the Asian Team making a fantastic comeback to tie the match. The EurAsia Cup has amazing potential. Team match play events are very special, and we hope the next time that Europe take the trophy home.”

Björn, Chairman of The European Tour’s Players’ Committee, said:  “The EurAsia Cup has a great future ahead and that’s the important thing. The way the tournament unfolded could not have been any better.  It came down to the last match on the last hole: it doesn’t get any better than that.

“Everything about it was brilliant. You've got to take the 20 players out of the frame and look at the bigger picture and to know that it's going to take place in Malaysia for the next two editions gives us a great chance to keep going and continue growing it into a bigger and bigger event.

“As an event for the game of golf in Asia, and in terms of The European and Asian Tours uniting and standing together in partnership, the EurAsia Cup is of huge importance and it's an amazing vehicle to build the game in this part of the world.

“We can make those ties between the tours stronger and make young people more excited about the game, because young people can relate to team competitions more than they can relate to individual sports, and that's one of the things I think this will bring to Asia golf and see how important it is.  It has a great future.”

McDowell, the 2010 US Open Champion and a veteran of three Ryder Cups including two European victories, said: “Team golf is very special. It brings players so close together and last week was another perfect example of that. It was very exciting out there and I just hope this event can go from strength to strength and really establish itself as a big match. I think the European Team all enjoyed the week and the tournament certainly it got what it deserved in a very, very exciting finish between two very evenly matched teams in the end.

“To hear the Prime Minister announce that the tournament will stay in Malaysia for the next two editions was a very strong statement for this event. It has amazing potential.”

Fernandez-Castaño, who holed a four-foot par putt on the 18th green at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club before conceding opponent Hideto Tanihara of Japan’s short putt to ensure the inaugural EurAsia Cup would end in a draw, said: “This is big. This is going to be the next big thing in golf and I'm really proud of being part of the first edition of the EurAsia Cup.”

Thongchai is looking forward to featuring in the EurAsia Cup again in two years’ time after the absorbing first contest.

“I would like to support this tournament. It was a great event and I’m sure it will become bigger and better. We’ve had a great start this week with an amazing match against Europe. I want to play in this event again,” said Thongchai

Bhullar was thrilled to be part of Asia’s stunning comeback, a feat the young Indian feels has given Asian golf and its players a huge boost of confidence.

“I think this week, representing the whole continent and taking that responsibility was a great, great pleasure. I’m looking forward to qualifying for the EurAsia Cup again in the future as we’ve just had a fantastic first event. The week was huge and you could see that it was a great event.

“I think the EurAsia Cup is a great moment for Asian golf because it puts us on the map and I know a lot of people will now take notice of our team and of the Asian Tour.”

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