Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Captain Atwal ready to deliver at EurAsia Cup

Captain Atwal ready to deliver at EurAsia Cup

The Europeans will be guided by future Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn, while Arjun Atwal takes charge of Team Asia.

The Wicklow golfer is now seventh on the European Points List and sixth on the World Points List in terms of Ryder Cup qualification, which means he's in the automatic qualification spots for the showdown with America in Paris later this year.

The nine-time European Tour victor is part of a 12-man line-up representing Team Europe against Team Asia at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Malaysia starting Friday.

Tommy Fleetwood, who won the season ending Tour Championship will lead the 10 automatic qualifiers that include England's Tyyrrell Hatton, Ross Fisher and Matthew Fitzpatrick, Spain's Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Austria's Bernd Wiesberger, Paul Dunne (Ireland), Thomas Pieters (Belgium), and Swedish duo Alex Noran and Henrik Stenson.

The event sees Europe take on a team from Asia.

Captain Thomas Bjorn, the Dane will also be skipper against the United States, has paired him with Alex Noren in Friday's opening fourballs. However, the most interesting participant must be Paul Casey, who, after making himself eligible again to play for the Ryder Cup by rejoining the Tour in November, is in his first blue and gold teamroom for a decade. You don't want to let him down and he doesn't want to let you down and you still obviously have got to play two other guys and you're trying to beat them.

Dunne is now well-placed in the Ryder Cup standings at seventh in the European points list and sixth in the world points list but there is still a long way to go before the team is finalised. "Plus, at 40, how many more Ryder Cups do I have the opportunity to play in?"

"But it was disappointing that I didn't play good enough golf to make enough points to make the team. What I'm looking for is someone to hit longer for me and that will be easier for me", said the 27-year-old Sabahan. "There is no such thing as an underdog in matchplay golf".

"I think this is good for us, giving us encouragement and motivation".

Although the EurAsia Cup captaincy role is a first for Atwal, the Indian is revelling in it and already has his strategy mapped out with sound advice from close friends.

"There's all the stuff that happens off the course, all the friendships you build in the team room, all the amusing moments, and stressful moments, it's the fabric that makes your career". There's two guys playing in Japan, two or three guys playing on the PGA Tour, two on The European Tour, four or five on the Asian Tour.

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