Team Asia recovered a from a four point deficit on the final day of the EURASIA Cup 2014 to share the trophy, the final score tied at 10-10.
Knowing that 10.5 points would be enough to secure the inaugural EURASIA Cup win, team Europe were unable able to secure the 3.5 points required from the ten singles contests on the final day of action.
Asia won six and halved one of the final day match-ups in a remarkable days play. The drama continued right up until the final hole of the competition, with Europe’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Asia’s Hideto Tanihara sharing a point in the last game on course.
Here’s the full results from a dramatic final day’s play per BBC Sport:
Miguel Angel Jimenez (Europe) bt Nicholas Fung (Asia) 1up
Thongchai Jaidee (Asia) bt Graeme McDowell (Europe) 3&2
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Asia) bt Thomas Bjorn (Europe) 2&1
Jamie Donaldson (Europe) halved with Prayad Marksaeng (Asia)
Kim Hyung-Sung (Asia) bt Pablo Larrazabal (Europe) 4&2
Anirban Lahiri (Asia) bt Victor Dubuisson (Europe) 2&1
Gaganjeet Bhullar (Asia) bt Thorbjorn Olesen (Europe) 4&3
Joost Luiten (Europe) bt Koumei Oda (Asia) 1up
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Europe) halved with Hideto Tanihara (Asia)
Siddikur Rahman (Asia) bt Stephen Gallacher (Europe) 4&3
Europe’s skipper Miguel Angel Jimenez set a strong early precedent, snatching a point from Nicholas Fung on the 18th hole, leaving the European’s needing just two-and-a-half points for victory.
But the Asian team, who were 5-0 down after the opening day of play, stormed back. Their skipper Thongchai Jaidee overcame Graeme McDowell in the second match of the day, and pretty soon the scoreboard made for some concerning reading for the European team.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat overcame Thomas Bjorn 2&1, and whilst Jamie Donaldson’s halve with Prayad Marksaeng did puncture a red scoreboard, the Welshman did let a four-hole lead slip.
There was more Asian success to follow, though. Kim Hyung-Sung, Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhulla all picked up victories over their European opponents. Then, Stephen Gallacher shanked his ball into the rough at the 15th, allowing Siddikur Rahman an easy victory. With that Asia nudged in front for the first time in the tournament.
They looked like they were about to extend their lead, with Koumei Oda reducing Joost Luiten’s lead from three holes to one, but the Dutchman held his nerve at the 18th to level the scores.
Both Fernandez-Castano and Tanihara had the chance to win the competition for their team in the last match out on course, but they were both unable to capitalise and the trophy was shared.
The Asian skipper was obviously delighted with his team’s comeback per Reuters:
Everyone played really well. I think the match is unbelievable, it was a good finish.
To end on the last, and on the 18th hole, it's fantastic. I have never seen a match like this. It's very close and amazing.
We had a good draw and good pairings, I think that's the key point.
European skipper Jimenez was disappointed not to pick up the trophy after fashioning a handsome lead over the first couple of days, but paid tribute to the resolve of his opponents per Reuters:
It's an amazing day of golf. It's been very tough. At the end of the week, the European team did not win the tournament but the Asian team, they played very well.
As I said in the prize giving presentation, Asia, Europe, they both win, nobody loses
After such an enthralling finale to the competition, it’d be fair to say the Eurasia Cup 2014 was a major success in it’s maiden outing. Both captains and both sets of players relished a new challenge and that paved the way for some marvellous golf over the course of the three days.
The next tournament is due to take place in Malaysia in 2016, and after all the drama we’ve witnessed here, expect the interest levels to be cranked up either further when these two teams meet again.