Golf: Whitewash

Golf: Whitewash
WELL DONE: Team Europe pair Joost Luiten (left) and Victor Dubuisson (right) celebrate their victory.

KUALA LUMPUR - They were good, but nowhere near good enough.

Team Asia fell 5-0 to their European counterparts on the first day of the inaugural EurAsia Cup, simply failing to reach the playing levels of Miguel Angel Jimenez and his men.

"There's really not much to say... you have to hand it to the Europeans, they played really good. I spoke to most of the team members and most of us were outplayed today," said a disappointed Anirban Lahiri.

Playing alongside fellow Indian Gaganjeet Bhullar, the pair fell behind to Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Stephen Gallacher from the first hole, after the Spaniard holed with his second shot for eagle.

"They started eagle, par, birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie, birdie, and we were (only) two down, which is not too bad.

"But they were making the 25-footer (putts) and we were missing the 10, that's the difference in matchplay," said Lahiri, whose pairing lost the match 4&3.

Even the Team Asia pair that started the brightest just could not keep up the pace.

Playing alongside Kim Hyung Sung, Malaysian Nicholas Fung nailed three birdies in the opening seven holes to put the Asian pair three-up over world No. 14 Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson.

It would have been a sensational upset, but Fung and Kim could not last the distance.

The Europeans got the match back to all-square on the 11th, and it was all too clear that the British pair were going to cruise to victory.

Even after missing his putt on the 12th, Donaldson strolled to the 13th tee-box, bouncing the ball on his putter, a graceful nonchalance that hinted of the Welshman's burgeoning confidence.

It was a European procession from then on, figuratively - and literally.

A sweat-soaked Jimenez showed up at the 14th, with a towel around his neck, cigar clenched between his teeth and smelling of victory.

Playing in the first match of the day alongside Pablo Larrazabal, the senior Spaniard carded two eagles and three birdies to put the first points on the board for Team Europe.

And pair by pair the rest of Team Europe fell behind Jimenez in a convoy, escorting McDowell and Donaldson on the pair's stroll across the finish line.

Donaldson birdied the 13th and 16th - the victorious aura of the European convoy behind him clearly seeping through - then proceeded to par the 17th to win the match 3&1, and put the gloss on a stunning first day.

"You can't get anything better than that, really," said a beaming Jimenez.

"They didn't play bad, but when (they have to face an opposition) captain (who's) making birdies and eagles, it's tough."

After the fourball format, the event will have shifted to foursomes on Friday, followed by Saturday's singles matchplay.

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