Saturday, 16 January 2016
Darren Clarke & Ian Poulter  (Getty Images)
Darren Clarke & Ian Poulter (Getty Images)

Europe are in the driving seat heading into the final day of the EURASIA CUP presented by DRB-HICOM after history repeated itself on Saturday.

Just as he had done on Friday, Ian Poulter helped Europe put their first point on the board in the foursome matches as Europe earned 4½ points for the second day running to extend their advantage to 9-3.

But it was not all plain sailing for Darren Clarke's team, who were trailing in four of the day's six matches when Poulter and playing partner Danny 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 Byeong-hun An and Thongchai Jaidee 3 and 2 in the day's first match.

Shane Lowry and Andy Sullivan combined to deliver a point for the second day in succession, beating Shingo Katayama and Prayad Marksaeng 3 and 2.

Wiesberger and Ross Fisher recovered from losing the first hole to beat K.T Kim and Jeung Hun Wang by two holes, while Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick cruised to a 5 and 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, while Kristoffer Broberg and Chris Wood lost by two holes to Kiradech Aphibarnrat and SSP Chawrasia in match three.

Willett and Poulter found themselves two up after as many holes without making a single birdie, with the Asian pair twice missing the chance to halve the hole.

The Englishmen extended their lead at the fifth after Willett sent his tee shot to within a foot of the cup, and the Sheffield native sank his ten foot putt at the sixth to give the European duo a four-hole lead.

An and Jaidee took a hole back at the next, but Willett and Poulter won the ninth to regain their four-hole advantage.

The Asian pair reduced the deficit to two holes by taking the 12th and 13th before Europe won the 14th and safely parred the next two holes to close out victory.

Poulter was pleased with their day's work. He said: "It was good golf. We had all intentions to play smart today, keep them under pressure. 

"It's probably their strongest pairing. They played nicely yesterday.

"We hit good golf shots. We played the right side of pins. We made no mistakes, no bogeys, and we backed each other up at the right time." - Ian Poulter.

Willett added: "I think me and Poults between us only missed a couple of shots. Like you say, when we were out there, when one of us hit a bad one, the other one backed him up and hit it close on a chip. 

"We didn't really make any mistakes and made a good few birdies for foursomes."

Sullivan and Lowry lost the first hole of the match and remained behind until the ninth, when opponents Katayama and Marksaeng failed to make par.

The European duo went two up after carding birdies at the tenth and 11th, but were pegged back as the Asian pair took the 12th. 

Lowry and Sullivan opened up a three-hole lead after taking the 13th and 14th, and although they lost the 15th, they claimed the 16th to seal the point.

Lowry said: "We went down pretty early and I said to Andy, we just need to be patient, we're playing good enough, and that should do us at the end of the day. 

"I holed a good putt from eight, ten feet on the eighth hole to stay one down and we won the ninth with a par.

"From there on, we played really good. Early doors, there was a lot of red on the board, so it was nice to see the lads dig in and get a bit of blue on the board, as well."

Westwood and Fitzpatrick found themselves one down after they were unable to make par at the first but they soon bounced back, taking the second and third to go one up.

The Englishmen then won the ninth, tenth, 13th and 14th holes to seal their win.

Westwood was happy with their performance. He said: "We played well, made a bogey on the first and gave them one, but after that we were six under and finished on 14, we didn't hit too many bad shots. 

"A lot of fairways, a lot of greens and made putts when we needed to and just always felt in control once we came back from the first hole."

Wiesberger and Fisher were all square with Kim and Wang at the turn after twice bouncing back from going one down.

The European pair went ahead for the first time thanks to Fisher's superb eagle putt at the 11th and they extended their lead further at the 13th.


Their lead was cut in half as their opponents fired a birdie at the next, but they took the 15th to restore their two-hole lead.

Another birdie from the hosts at the 16th reduced the deficit but Wiesberger and Fisher held their nerve, birdieing the last to make sure of the point.

Dubuisson and Kjeldsen were behind for much of their match with home favourites Chia and Fung and were trailing by two holes going into the back nine.

But a sensational eagle putt from the Frenchman cut the Malaysian duo's lead to one before the Europeans took the 15th to square the match.

Chia and Fung regained their one-hole lead at the next but after Dubuisson holed his tricky par putt at the 17th, Fung missed from three feet, so the match was all square going into the final hole, where neither team could do better than par.

After finding themselves two down after as many holes, Broberg and Wood struggled to get a foothold in the match and went three down when they lost the seventh hole.

A birdie at the 12th and a par at the 17th saw them take their opponents to an 18th hole but it was the Asian pair who came out on top, taking the 18th to win by two holes. 

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