Friday, 12 January 2018
Paul Casey  (Getty Images)
Paul Casey (Getty Images)

Asia got off to a flying start on the opening morning of the 2018 EurAsia Cup.

The hosts took an early lead in four of the six fourball matches on Friday as Europe's title defence began with a whimper.

Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey were Europe's only pair to be leading as they reached the turn one up against Byeong Hun An and Kiradech Aphibarnrat in match one.

Asia were in control of the next four matches, with Yuta Ikeda and Gavin Green one up against 2016 Ryder Cup players Thomas Pieters and Matthew Fitzpatrick and Alex Noren and Paul Dunne trailing Hideto Tanihara and Phachara Khongwatmai by the same margin.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the morning was Sunghoon Kang and Poom Saksansin's comprehensive four-hole lead against Ryder Cup stalwart Henrik Stenson and rookie Alex Levy after five holes.

Home favourite Nicholas Fung and Li Haotong had found themselves two up against Rafa Cabrera Bello and Bernd Wiesberger after four holes but a birdie from the Austrian at the fifth reduced the hosts' lead to one in match five.

Meanwhile, Tyrrell Hatton and Ross Fisher's match against Anirban Lahiri and S.S.P Chawrasia was all square after three holes.

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