Arjun Atwal turns to Tiger Woods for advice before EurAsia Cup

  • Arjun Atwal turns to Tiger Woods for advice before EurAsia Cup

Arjun Atwal turns to Tiger Woods for advice before EurAsia Cup

The local heroes are expected to pull in big crowds to the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club when Asia takes on a Thomas Bjorn-led Team Europe in the three-day Ryder Cup-styled event, which will tee off on Jan 12.

Atwal's strategic pairing of Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai and Japan's Hideto Tanihara where there is a mix of youth and experience could prove to be the difference as they face off with Sweden's Alex Noren and Ireland's Paul Dunne. "So, those 12 players in that room are very aware that they have got to go out and play golf this week".

Captain Thomas Bjorn, the Dane will also be skipper against the United States, has paired him with Alex Noren in Friday's opening fourballs.

"I thought that I might play a few tournaments in December, but when I came off the 18th green at the Nedbank Golf Challenge I changed my mind and was glad not to be playing in December, because I have so many thoughts about the team".

Seasoned Ryder Cup golfer Paul Casey of England and France's Alex Levy completes Team Europe as the two wildcards picked by Bjorn.

Asia seeks its first win in the third EurAsia Cup.

Thomas Bjorn with the Ryder Cup
Thomas Bjorn with the Ryder Cup

"I think the whole match play feeling, you see it at The Ryder Cup, and obviously the US guys have the Presidents Cup".

"I think the commitment from the players early on, wanting to play in this event, shows where European golf is", Bjorn said.

European players have called for more match play events as they relish the chance for head-to-head competition at the EurAsia Cup this week.

The winning team will share the prize money of US$3.6 million (RM14.4 million) while the runners-up will share US$1.2 million (RM4.8 million).

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. "You can be underdogs on paper, but once the matches start, anything can happen". "I wasn't on the team two years ago and I would have loved to be on the team, and this year, I'm happy to be on it".

Along with 2016 Open champion Henrik Stenson, Bjorn boasts European Tour order of merit victor Tommy Fleetwood, as well as fellow young English hotshots in Tyrrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick.