Clarke skippers Europe to lopsided EurAsia Cup win

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 17, 2016 12:32 AM

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Europe's Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke secured an encouraging first triumph as skipper on Sunday as his side romped to a lopsided victory over hosts Asia in the EurAsia Cup.

Englishman Danny Willett secured the trophy after beating South Korea's An Byeong-hun 3&1 in the singles, giving Europe an unassailable 13-3 lead with eight matches still to be finished at the Glenmarie Golf Club in Kuala Lumpur.

Europe began the day with a 9-3 lead after taking 4 1/2 points in both Friday's fourball and Saturday's foresome sessions, and the 12-man team showed no mercy in the singles as they continued to pummel Jeev Milkha Singh's struggling side.

Captain's pick Ian Poulter, who has played in four winning Ryder Cup sides, kicked off Sunday's march to the title by beating Malaysia's Danny Chia 4&3.

Andy Sullivan swiftly added another point after overcoming Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee by the same margin before Lee Westwood, a long-time friend of Clarke's and another captain's pick, then made it 12-3 after crushing Nicholas Fung 7&6.

That paved the way for Willett, the European team's top ranked player, to secure the trophy for Europe on the 17th.

Europe became the first team to win the biennial tournament after Asia stormed back on the final day to snatch a 10-10 draw in the inaugural edition two years ago.

Clarke, British Open champion in 2011, will lead Europe's bid for a fourth consecutive Ryder Cup triumph over the United States at Hazeltine starting in September.

(Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; Editing by Peter Rutherford)