Asia will provide Europe with a warm-up match play event before the Europeans face the Americans later in the year for the historical biennial matches at the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles next October. This new exhibition, the EurAsia Cup, will be held at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Malaysia from March 28-30, 2014, according to the EuropeanTour.com.
10 Asian golfers will face off 10 European players in matches over three days. Europe will choose the leading four players available (or willing) to participate from the final Race to Dubai rankings at the end of the 2013 season, the leading four players available from the Official World Golf Ranking on Monday, February 3, 2014, and two captain’s picks.
As for Asia’s team, Thongchai Jaidee will serve as captain and the members will include the top four Asian players without prior obligations from the final 2013 Asian Tour Order of Merit, the leading three available Asian players based on their OWGR and three captain’s picks.
Miguel Angel Jimenez was unveiled as the captain of the Europeans and the Spaniard announced the first four (available) automatic qualifiers for his team, with Graeme McDowell leading the way, along with Jamie Donaldson, Victor Dubuisson and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano — all of whom secured their spots with the finishing places in the Race to Dubai this past season.
Jimenez will serve as a playing captain, so there are five spots left on the team via the world ranking and Jimenez’s wildcard pick.
The EurAsia Cup conflicts with the Valero Texas Open on the PGA Tour and the Tshwane Open on the European Tour.
So far, McDowell is the most notable name to have committed.
“I am really looking forward to playing the EurAsia Cup,” said the 2010 U.S. Open champion, according to the Express. “It’s a great concept to bring Asia and Europe together and I think it has a lot of potential to become a very big event.
“Everyone knows the standards in Asian golf are continually rising and I have no doubt it will be a tough job to go away from home and win.
“But if we gel as a team and get the pairings right then we will have a chance because there will be a lot of quality and experienced players in the European team and I am sure a few of them will be looking to sharpen their match play skills with an eye on the Ryder Cup next year.”
Maybe the Americans should have gotten in on something similar — a U.S., Europe and Asia three-way match wouldn’t have been the worst idea in the world. I know we have the Presidents Cup, but that’s an entire year before the Ryder Cup and it’s not the same *exact* format (though we’re not sure what it will be for the EurAsia Cup). However, given the U.S. record in the past two decades, the Americans can use all the extra match play practice they can get!
Otherwise, it’s like Asia is helping out Europe and giving them a dummy run before the real deal, so they can pounce on the Americans as they have in five of the last six Ryder Cups.