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Sunday, 14 January 2018
Day 3 highlights - EurAsia Cup

Belgium's Thomas Pieters scored the winning point as Europe produced a dominant display in the Singles matches to win the 2018 EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM.

Thomas Bjørn's visitors began the day one point behind Asia but won seven of their first eight matches on Sunday to successfully complete the defence of their crown with several matches still out on course at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.

Europe ran out 14-10 winners after securing eight victories in the Singles session, with Asia managing just three wins and the other match finishing all square.

Ryder Cup star Pieters made a blistering start against Byeong Hun An, winning four of the first six holes without reply to establish a healthy lead.

But the South Korean bounced back in style and took the eighth, ninth, 12th and 14th to level the match.

Pieters then curled in his tricky seven-foot putt at the 15th to regain the lead, before winning another hole at the next to ensure Europe would retain the trophy at very least.

After An had nervelessly holed his birdie putt at the 17th, the final hole was halved in fours and Pieters could celebrate delivering the winning point.

 

Pieters said: "It's always nice to get the winning point. I got off to a good start, then played pretty poorly during the middle, then made a couple of very good birdies."

Alex Noren set the ball rolling for Europe, beating Nicholas Fung 4 and 2 in the lead match to level the tournament at 6½-6½.

Rafa Cabrera Bello then beat Gavin Green 4 and 3 before Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood made it three in a row with a 2 and 1 victory against S.S.P Chawrasia.

Poom Saksansin got Asia's first point of the day when he beat Paul Casey by one hole but Henrik Stenson soon put another blue point on the board, beating Hideto Tanihara 2 and 1.

Bernd Wiesberger and Alex Levy then closed out their wins against Phachara Khongwatmai and Kiradech Aphibarnrat respectively to put Europe within a single point of victory.

And Pieters held on against An to secure the deciding point.

Englishman Tyrrell Hatton then beat Anirban Lahiri 2 and 1 before Matthew Fitzpatrick halved his match against Sunghoon Kang.

Asia won the final two matches, with Li Haotong and Yuta Ikeda beating Paul Dunne and Ross Fisher respectively.

Cabrera Bello was one of Europe's most impressive performers on day three, opening up a five-hole lead with a brilliant birdie putt from 30 feet at the ninth.

Home favourite Green reduced the deficit to three holes as he launched an unlikely fightback, but another birdie at the 15th saw the Spaniard wrap up a point for Europe.

He said: "Obviously I'm very happy to have played well and especially to have secured the point for Europe.

"Gavin is obviously a very tough competitor. I knew I had to play really well today, and I'm happy I did it.

"I started strongly. I kept my foot down on the accelerator and managed to win my match on the 15th, so proud of that."

In-form Englishmen Hatton and Fleetwood both delivered three points for Europe on their EurAsia Cup debuts.

Hatton thoroughly enjoyed the week. He said: "It's been an amazing experience for me, seeing as it's my first time in a team event as a pro.

"I've loved the week. It's been great with the team. We've had good fun in the team room, as well.

"We needed a big day today. The lads have gone out there and done a job, which is fantastic."

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