Twelve European Tour winners, incorporating the 2016 British Open Champion and six Ryder Cup players, make up the European Team for the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia from January 12-14 2018.
Led by Thomas Bjørn – eight months before he will captain Europe in The Ryder Cup in France – the European Team will tackle Asia in the third staging of the biennial contest, which will once again take place at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur.
Europe will be looking to retain the trophy they won in convincing fashion by 18½ – 5½ in 2016, but will face a strong Asian team on home soil captained, for the first time, by India’s Arjun Atwal.
Leading the ten automatic qualifiers from the 2017 Race to Dubai Rankings is England’s Tommy Fleetwood, who finished European Number One after a thrilling end to the season at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Joining Fleetwood as automatic qualifiers are his fellow Englishmen Tyrrell Hatton, Ross Fisher and Matthew Fitzpatrick, Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger, Ireland’s Paul Dunne, Belgium’s Thomas Pieters, and the Swedish pair of Alex Noren and Henrik Stenson.
Completing the European Team are the two wildcard selections named by captain Bjørn, Englishman Paul Casey and Alex Levy of France.
Bjørn, who played in the inaugural EurAsia Cup match in 2014 which ended in a 10-10 tie, said: “The interest from the players has been very strong and you can see that from the fact that the ten automatic qualifiers come from within the top 20 of the final Race to Dubai Rankings. That is a good indication of what the EurAsia Cup is becoming, and I think European golf is in a great place right now.
“I’m very encouraged by the make-up of the team and we are strong from 1 through to 12. I have some great experience in terms of six players who have experienced Ryder Cups, as well as the 2016 British Open Champion in Henrik. But I also have some exciting young talent led by Tommy and Tyrrell.
“It’s a great honour for me to be captain and I’m looking forward to going to Malaysia in January to face what I know will be a very strong Asian team. We want to win the EurAsia Cup again and I believe we are going with a team very capable of doing that.”
The European captain continued:
“I have assembled a team which will hopefully go out and retain the EurAsia Cup, but I also have one eye on next September and selecting Alex will give him a feeling of being part of what a team event feels like, as I know it’s very much on his mind to try and make The Ryder Cup Team.”