Shah Alam, Malaysia: Team Asia captain Jeev Milkha Singh of India is planning to adopt a relaxed approach when he leads his star golfers out at the second edition of the EurAsia Cup, starting here on Friday.
Jeev, a two-time Asian Tour champion, will go up against a Darren Clarke-led team at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club and is confident his team will put up a performance that underlines Asia’s rising stature in world golf.
“I believe in our players. I know that all of them have the experience. They are used to the weather. They have played in Asia many times, and they play these kind of courses all the time," Jeev said in an Asian Tour release.
“So, I just basically have to make sure they are comfortable, happy, and relaxed. When all of these things are given to him, that’s when a player plays his best. And I don’t even have to tell them to try their best, because I know they are all going to give 100 per cent."
While many are predicting another close contest when Asia’s best goes up against Europe, following their thrilling 10-10 draw at the inaugural edition in 2014, Clarke believes home advantage could prove pivotal for Jeev’s side.
“We are playing in the Asian team’s backyard, so they are a bit more used to the heat and humidity than we are, which may give them a bit of an advantage.
“When the humidity comes with this sort of heat, it is quite oppressive. And it probably feels even hotter than the last time we were here,” said Clarke.
Clarke, who will call on the might of Ryder Cup veterans Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood in his 12-strong team, however, believes the EurAsia Cup, presented by DRB-HICOM, will continue to remain an enthralling contest for all.
“With the co-sanctioned events we have in Asia, the Europeans do have experience of playing here. So it’s too close to call, and I think there’s a pretty good chance it could end in another draw.
“You have two very strong teams, and because it’s matchplay, anything could happen. Hopefully it will be every bit as exciting as last time. Although I don’t know how our nerves will be at the end of the week!” said Clarke.
The action gets underway on Friday with six fourball matches, followed by the foursomes on Saturday and concluding with Sunday’s 12 singles matches.
The EurAsia Cup will feature 24 matches, with Day One showcasing six Fourball matches, followed by six Foursomes matches and 12 Singles matches on the third day.
The winning team will share prize money of $3.6 million while the runner-up will share $1.2 million.