Sam Torrance: EurAsia Cup success a vital Ryder Cup stepping stone for Thomas Bjorn and Europe

 
Sam Torrance
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EURASIA Cup - Day Three
Europe beat Asia 14-10 (Source: Getty)

Without wishing to take the shine off the EurAsia Cup as it’s a great tournament in its own right, Europe’s victory on Sunday was the ideal preparation for this year’s Ryder Cup.

Playing matchplay golf while representing Europe will have been a significant stepping stone in the learning process of young players who could well be going head-to-head with the United States in Paris in September.

Europe won eight of Sunday’s 12 singles matches in Kuala Lumpur as they recovered from a 6½–5½ overnight deficit to win 14-10 and defend the biennial title they won in 2016.

You simply cannot beat experience. Players can watch the Ryder Cup on television but there is nothing quite like doing it for real and this competition will have given those who took part an invaluable taste of what it is like.

English duo Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton were the only two players to triumph all three of their matches and the experience of winning on behalf of the side and team-mates is something to treasure.

While victory in Kuala Lumpur no way guarantees Ryder Cup success, it will have been a priceless few days for captain Thomas Bjorn as he bids to mastermind the regaining of a trophy Europe lost two years ago.

Bjorn will have been able to dabble in speech making for instance, think about fourball pairings and prospective match ups for Paris and what to do with the players in the evenings after a day on the course.

He will have been able to expose himself to situations and scenarios which will crop up when the Ryder Cup rolls around for real and while Europe were favourites to beat Asia, it is all a positive going forward.

It was also an excellent weekend for England’s Chris Paisley, meanwhile, who shot a superb six-under-par 66 on Sunday to beat Branden Grace – the highest-ranked player in the field – by three shots to claim his first European Tour title at the South African Open.

Beating Grace in front of his home crowd and in the manner that he did was very special, something which suggests greater things lie ahead for the 31-year-old, who is now ranked No121 in the world.

Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam

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