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Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Fisher and Fitzpatrick set to lead another European romp

Asia should suffer a thrashing

Ross Fisher was unbeaten in the last EurAsia Cup
1 of 1

Sky Sports Golf, 3.30am Friday

A European side who look on a completely different level to their opponents and are desperate to impress captain Thomas Bjorn are an understandably short price to overcome Asia in the EurAsia Cup.

Bjorn, who also skippers the Ryder Cup team this year, has so much more quality at his disposal than his Asian counterpart Arjun Atwal. Europe won 18.5-5.5 last time and a similar result seems likely this week.

Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy are missing the EurAsia Cup – a world-class quartet almost assured of Ryder Cup spots – but Henrik Stenson has made himself available and Europe look bankers at 3-10.

Francesco Molinari is the only other European to snub the trip to Kuala Lumpur, something for which the Italian might be punished in September.

The inexperienced Paul Dunne is arguably the weakest link in the European side, but the Irish youngster won the British Masters in fine style in the autumn and is still improving.

Dunne is superior to at least half of the Asian line-up and Atwal will be relying on big performances from Anirban Lahiri, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Byeong-Hun An and Haotong Li for Asia to be competitive.

Lahiri, who gave a good account of himself in the last Presidents Cup, is probably the best option for top Asian at 13-2. The market could end up with a dead-heat of several players on one point, though, given how few points the home team are likely to register.

The layers seem eager to guide the betting community into top European bets, which are also likely to feature a heavy dead-heat for first place. Expect a few of Bjorn's boys to deliver a maximum three-point haul.

Thankfully, BoyleSports have been quick to issue an overall top-scorer market comprising both teams. That creates enough juice in the European prices to justify a wager, even allowing for the probable tie.

The best bets are Ross Fisher and Matthew Fitzpatrick, two of only three players in the European side who have previous experience of competing in a EurAsia Cup at Glenmarie Country Club. An out-of-form Bernd Wiesberger is the other.

Fisher got to Dubai a week ago to practice with his coach Denis Pugh for several days before jetting to Malaysia, so can hit the ground running. He found some excellent form at the end of last year, finishing runner-up in the Dunhill Links and the Italian Open, and was unbeaten at Glenmarie in 2016 with 2.5 points.

Fitzpatrick also spent time in Dubai in the build-up to the Cup, shaking off the Christmas rust, and he closed 2017 with nine consecutive top-20 finishes. The streak started with victory in the European Masters and the Sheffield lad should be one of Bjorn's trump cards.

Recommendations
R Fisher top overall scorer
1pt each-way 16-1 BoyleSports
M Fitzpatrick top overall scorer
1pt each-way 12-1 BoyleSports


The lowdown

Course Glenmarie Golf and Country Club, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Prize money $4.8m ($300,000 to each of winning team, $100,000 to each of losing team) Length 7,004 yards Par 72

Teams
Asia
Gavin Green, S.S.P Chawrasia, Phachara Khongwatmai, Poom Saksansin, Yuta Ikeda, Haotong Li, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Anirban Lahiri, Hideto Tanihara, Sunghoon Kang, Byeong-Hun An, Nicholas Fung. 

Europe Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Ross Fisher, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Alex Noren, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Bernd Wiesberger, Henrik Stenson, Paul Dunne, Thomas Pieters, Alex Levy, Paul Casey.

Schedule – Friday six fourball matches Saturday six foursomes matches Sunday 12 singles matches

When to bet By 12.30am Thursday night
Where to watch Live on Sky Sports from 3.30am Friday
Time difference Malaysia is eight hours ahead of the UK and Ireland

Course overview The Royal Trophy (the original team event between Asia and Europe) was played for the seventh and final time in 2013, Europe winning for a fifth time, and the EurAsia Cup became the replacement in 2014, with Glenmarie the venue.

This is a tight track. It was designed by Max Weller and opened in 1993, an undulating parkland layout with water coming into play on four holes.

All the four par-fives are 566 yards or shorter, while every par four is between 390 and 429.

Thunderstorms are commonplace in this region, but there will be no problem getting the tournament completed in time, with floodlights available in emergencies.

Story of 2016 The match quickly turned into an embarrassment for the home side, with Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke overseeing a crushing 18.5-5.5 victory for Europe against Jeev Milkha Singh's Asia.

Weather forecast Spells of heavy rain and occasional thunder are expected throughout, so players must pack their waterproofs.

Type of player suited to challenge Length is not of great advantage at Glenmarie, a short course where the fairway rough pinches in sharply at the landing area for tee-shots, but the forecast rain will stop drives quicker than normal. Accurate tee-to-green work is the key to success.

Key attribute Accuracy


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Fisher got to Dubai a week ago to practice with his coach Denis Pugh
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