EurAsia Cup: Asia value to make most of favourable conditions

Captains Darren Clarke and Jeev Milkha Singh ahead of the EurAsia Cup
Captains Darren Clarke and Jeev Milkha Singh ahead of the EurAsia Cup

Darren Clarke and Jeev Milkha Singh's two teams will do battle in Malaysia this week to see who can be the first team to hold the EurAsia Cup. Read Steve's preview of the biannual battle here...


“There hasn’t been a fag paper between these two teams on the last three occasions they’ve met and I suspect it will be tight again. The Europeans have vastly more experience but the Asians are a stronger side this time around and they have to be the value.”

Format and Tournament History

The EurAsia Cup is a match play tournament contested between teams representing the Asian and European Tours.

With 20 points available, there will be six four-balls on Friday, six foursome matches on Saturday, and 12 singles matches on Sunday. The EurAsia Cup will be shared if the final score is a draw (as it was last time).

This is just the second edition of the event but if the inaugural staging is anything to go by we could be in for something of a treat. Europe where 5-0 up after day one two years ago and they went into the singles on day three with a 7-3 lead but they were brilliantly pegged back by the Asian Team and the match ended 10 apiece. And we witnessed similar dramas on the last two occasions the event was played out in its previous guise.

The EurAsia Cup is basically the Royal Trophy rebranded and the final editions of that event produced much drama. Europe rallied from a 7-3 deficit to snatch victory 8 ½ to 7 ½ in 2013 and in 2012, the two teams couldn't be separated after the Asians rallied after a poor start.


Inaugural EurAsia Cup Result

2014 - Tie 10-10


Past Royal Trophy Results

2013 - Europe 8 ½ - 7 ½
2012 - Tie 8-8
2011 - Europe 9-7
2010 - Europe 8 ½ - 7 ½
2009 - Asia 10-6
2008 - No Event
2007 - Europe 12 ½ - 3 ½
2006 - Europe 9 -7


Venue

Glenmarie Golf & Country Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Course Details

Par 72, 7,004 yards

Designed by Max Wexler and opened as recently as 1993, Glenmarie staged this event last time.

It's described as gently undulating with narrow landing areas on the fairways, parkland looking and tree-lined. Water is in-play on just four holes and the greens, which last time ran at around 10.5 on the stimpmeter, are Bermuda Tiff Dwarf.


Weather

We can expect light winds and typical KL weather. It'll be hot and steamy and there'll be a strong chance of thunderstorms every day.


Asian Team - Captained by Jeev Milkha Singh

- Byeong Hun An
- Thongchai Jaidee
- Kiradech Aphibarnrat
- Anirban Lahiri
- Shingo Katayama
- Kyung-Tae Kim
- Prayad Marksaeng
- Jeung-Hun Wang
- Ashun Wu
- SSP Chawrasia
- Nicholas Fung


European Team - Captained by Darren Clarke

- Danny Willett
- Lee Westwood
- Bernd Wiesberger
- Chris Wood
- Ian Poulter
- Victor Dubuisson
- Mathew Fitzpatrick
- Andy Sullivan
- Ross Fisher
- Kristoffer Broberg
- Shane Lowry
- Soren Kjeldsen


Outright Market Selection

There hasn't been a fag paper between these two teams on the last three occasions they've met and I suspect it will be tight again. As you'll see here with Adam Sarson's match play database, the Europeans have more experience but the Asians are a stronger side this time around and they have to be the value.

The Europeans are a blend of youth and experience and they'll all be busting a gut to show Clarke their worth ahead of the Ryder Cup. They're the worthy favourites but I do think they look a bit short.

The likes of Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter have been matchplay team stalwarts for many a year and will be desperate to show Dazzler they still have what it takes but will they be able to? Stars they may be but in all likelihood, they're fading stars now and if they don't perform, it won't be easy for the younger, less experienced, members of the team to fill the void.

These two look the lynchpins and they'll have a lot of pressure to perform well. Poulter, in particular, has rallied to the cause and I suspect he will again but even if they do both fire, the Asian Team is strong enough to represent value at getting on for 3/1. Especially given they're far more used to the oppressive conditions.


Top Asian Scorer

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat has a great record in Malaysia and given he won the inaugural Paul Lawrie Match Play in the summer, it's impossible to crab his match play prowess either. He's not a huge price at 5/1 with the Sportsbook but he should be fractionally shorter and he looks the one for this market.


Top European

Although I think there's a chance Ian Poulter could be on the wane, his match play record is magnificent and he looks by far the safest conveyance in a tricky market.


Top Combined Scorer

I'm more than happy to go with Aphibarnrat again and the industry wide best price of 12/1 with the Sportsbook looks more than fair.


Possible Trading Tactics

There's always an argument that the draw is worth playing before the off in match play team events - as back-to-lay vehicle - and that would certainly have paid dividends on the last three occasions these two teams met.

It would also have been a worthwhile strategy to lay the leaders at heavy odds-on before the final day's play, given the team that's led going into the singles has failed to convert on those last three occasions.


Suggested Wagers

Team Asia @ circa 4.03/1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat - Top Asian and Top Combined @ 5/1 and 12/1 (Sportsbook)
Ian Poulter - Top European @ 7/1 (Sportsbook)


I'll be back on Friday with the In-Play Blog.


*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter


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