The European team fought back from a one point deficit going into the singles matches to retain the EurAsia cup today. They dominated the singles at Glenmarie Country Club in Kuala Lumpur with wins for Alex Noren, Thomas Pieters, Henrik Stenson, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Bernd Wiesberger, Tyrell Hatton, Alex Levy and Tommy Fleetwood who was unbeaten all week.
Captain Thomas Bjorn said he told his team they had to keep going to the end, and every single one of them stood up and did everything they could, I’m very proud of them. The player he seemed to be most impressed with was Paul Casey who has decided to play more in Europe this year to make himself eligible for the Ryder Cup in Paris. “He’s been brilliant” Bjorn said “You can see he’s been really enjoying it. I think it’s been important personally for him. If Paul had stayed in America and not taken this step to make himself eligible again I think he would have regretted it”.
Casey confirmed his intention of resuming European Tour membership after a three year absence to make himself eligible for the Ryder Cup. He says “I’ve missed my contribution to British golf, to Europe. My Ryder Cup experience is the highlight of my career. I want to be and need to be part of the European Tour and put me in line to play another Ryder Cup which I would dearly love to”.
With 11 Europeans in the top 20 in the world and twenty five years since the Americans won the Ryder Cup away from home, it is surprising that Bjorn’s European team will be considered under dogs for September’s matches in Paris. “I’ve lived all my Ryder Cup life as an underdog and we’ve won the overwhelming number of matches”.
His approach to team building is distinctly different from that of previous European Ryder Cup captains. He believes in doing what comes naturally. He believes in not forcing his players to be a team, let it happen, don’t force it. “The less you try to be a team the better team you are”. Allowing people to be individuals, now there’s a thought, it’s a long way from forcing Ryder Cup players into pods…