Anirban Lahiri's putt helps Asia fight back in EurAsia Cup
With Anirban Lahiri, partnering his good friend Siddikur of Bangladesh, winning the last of the five foursomes, Asia rallied from 0-5 to 3-7 at the end of the second day with 10 singles matches scheduled for the final day.
With the entire Asian team egging him on from the gallery, India's Anirban Lahiri made no mistake with a tense 10-footer to give Asia its second full point of the day at the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM here on Friday.
With Lahiri, partnering his good friend Siddikur of Bangladesh, winning the last of the five foursomes, Asia rallied from 0-5 to 3-7 at the end of the second day with 10 singles matches scheduled for the final day.
Lahiri and Siddikur beat the Netherlands' Joost Luiten and Frenchman Victor Dubuisson 1-up and Asia's other win came from Japan Tour colleagues, Thai Prayad Marksaeng and Korea's Kim Hyung-sung, who beat Danes Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen 4&3, the day's biggest margin.
Asia's only loss of the day came when Gaganjeet Bhullar, playing with local Nicholas Fung, was unable to hold on to a 2-up lead after eight and lost 2&1 on the 17th hole to Graeme Mcdowell and Jamie Donaldson.
In the other matches, Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat halved the point with European skipper, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Pablo Larrazabal, who hold a 10-footer on the 18th to level the match, while Japan's Koumei Oda and Hideto Tanihara shared the point with Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Stephen Gallacher.
Lahiri said, "I think that was the putt for the day. Thongchai (Jaidee) told me that Pablo (Larrazabal) had also putted from there and he gave me lots of clarity with the line. I'm glad I pulled it off. I've to thank my coach who's here as we worked really hard on my putting," said Lahiri, a three-time Asian Tour champion.
The duo's battle with Luiten and Dubuisson, who finished runner-up in the recent WGC-Accenture Match Play, went down the wire to the last hole before Lahiri's heroics at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
"The day belonged to us. We played really solid from tee to green. It's nice to get the full point for the team. Both of us were really pumped up after yesterday and I'm sure we're going to witness more of such performances tomorrow," said Lahiri.
The European pair gained the early advantage by going 1-up with a birdie on the opening hole in the second day foursome format. They lost the third, but won the ninth to hold on to their lead before the Asians rallied with a birdie on 12 to level the match.
Another birdie on 13 gave Lahiri and Siddikur the lead as they went 1-up. They were 2-up after Dubuission missed a par putt from three feet on 16th but had to endure a tense finish as the Europeans had the opportunity to halve the match when Luiten brought them back to 1-down with his long par putt on 17. That was before Lahiri closed the match.
Earlier, Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand and Korea's Kim Hyung-sung put Asia on the board with a commanding 4 & 3 win over Danes Thomas BjÃ¸rn and ThorbjÃ¸rn Olesen.
The first match went the distance with Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal holing a birdie attempt on 18 as he and captain Miguel Angel Jimenez salvaged a halve with Asian captain Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand.
Japanese duo Koumei Oda and Hideto Tanihara recovered from 3-down at the turn to earn a halve with Gonzalo Fernandez-CastaÃ±o of Spain and Scotland's Stephen Gallacher while Europe's lone win came through Major champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and Welshman Jamie Donaldson who fought back from 2-down through eight holes to defeat Malaysia's Nicholas Fung and Gaganjeet Bhullar of India 2 & 1.
Europe needs only three and a half points from the ten singles matches tomorrow to lift the first EurAsia Cup, but after today's improved performance, Thongchai is hoping for a "miracle in Malaysia".