Friday, 12 January 2018
Thomas Bjørn  (Getty Images)
Thomas Bjørn (Getty Images)

Thomas Bjørn expects his Europe side to come out fighting on Saturday after they fell behind on day one of the EurAsia Cup.

Defending champions Europe struggled to get going on Friday morning and were trailing in four matches and all square in the other two at one stage.

Bjørn's men rallied in the afternoon but will head into the weekend one point behind their hosts after Asia established a 3½-2½ lead.

Bjørn admits things did not go according to plan but insists Asia's impressive display did not surprise him.

He said: "You've always got hopes and thoughts in your mind of how the day is going to pan out and obviously we didn't send the team out to be behind.

"Yeah, it's not what we were looking for but there were some very positive things and there were a few rusty things as well.

"There was some unbelievable golf from a couple of the Asian pairings, as well. But we expected that.

"I've been talking to the guys all week (telling them) to expect them to come out firing, expect them to be 100 per cent up for this and saying they are going to go out and play some good golf.

"We needed to be ready to play. When I look at the scoring in the groups, I feel like, yeah, a couple of guys might feel like they should have done better but in general, there was a lot of good golf from our side and the rust had been knocked off the golf swings in practice and maybe the competitive rust might have needed to be knocked off today.

"So, I suspect that we'll go out tomorrow and be ready to play, and foursomes is a very different game."

Europe could have gone into the weekend on level terms had it not been for Li Haotong's sensational putt at the last.

The 22 year old rolled in his birdie putt from the rough at the 18th to win the hole and halve the match, handing Asia a one-point overnight lead.

Asia captain Arjun Atwal said: "I'm really happy with how the day went, especially with the Li Haotong match. That was really important for me.

"Very important, not just for me but my whole team room, like my whole team. It's just very important psychologically."

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