China's Li Haotong helps Team Asia lead in Eurasia Cup

China's Li Haotong helps Team Asia lead in Eurasia Cup

Paul Casey insisted Europe were not guilty of complacency after losing the opening session of the third EurAsia Cup at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club.

Asian Tour Order of Merit victor Gavin Green lived up to his large billing on Friday, claiming an opening victory alongside Japan's Yuta Ikeda and therefore it's no great surprise that Team Asia captain Arjun Atwal has elected to keep the pair together for Saturday.

"We're not underestimating this team by any means", said Casey, who won his match with Fleetwood and is representing Europe for the first time in nearly a decade. "I love match play, especially when you have a partner like Tommy Fleetwood".

"I don't want to ever sound cocky with a team like Europe, and I'm not going to get cocky, but it's a great start", Asia captain Arjun Atwal said.

The anchor match saw Bernd Wiesberger partner Englishman Ross Fisher, a victor on Friday, against Haotong Li and Nicholas Fung but despite moving 2up at the par five 6th green Asia responded quickly and Li continued his strong putting display from the opening day's play to secure a 3&1 win and maintain Asia's slender advantage heading into Sunday's singles.

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Europe drew level when Ross Fisher and Tyrrell Hatton brushed aside S.S.P. Chawrasia and Anirban Lahiri 5 and 4.

The penultimate match to finish saw Hideto Tanihara and burgeoning talent Phachara Khongwatmai defeat Noren and Dunne for the second day running - this time winning 2&1 - as the Europeans failed to win a hole over the back nine in a tight contest.

Team Europe led in that last match standing on the 18th tee but a brilliant birdie at the last from Li stopped Bjorn's men from heading into the weekend on level terms. This against an Asian contingent that boasts just one player (Yuta Ikeda) inside the top 40, with half the team residing outside the OWGR top 100.

"I've been talking to the guys all week that (we should) expect them to come out firing", European captain Bjorn said. The rust had been knocked off the golf swings in practice and maybe the competitive rust might have needed to be knocked off today. "We feel like we knew we could find ourselves in this position, and we knew this Asian team is very strong and very much ready to play".

He better hope so, or his Ryder Cup dress rehearsal could be a complete a flop.

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