EURASIA CUP presented by DRB-HICOM
Sunday, January 17, 2016
CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Jeev, not quite the result you were looking for, but I’m sure you were still very, very pleased with the way your boys fought all three days.
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: I am proud of my team, like I’ve mentioned many times before. I believe in these players. These players worked really hard. They gave it 100 per cent out there. They came out to support each other. They gave each other advice, and also my vice captain, Liang Wen-Chong, put in a lot of effort going out in the evenings and mornings; Janet, my secretary, Suzy, for coming out and helping me out, Richard, The Asian Tour staff, to make us feel at home and comfortable in the team room, I think it was fantastic.
But as far as my team is concerned, I still believe in them, and I think we’re going to be well prepared. We learned from this. It was a good experience, and when we come back after two years, we are going to be a stronger team and we are going to do well.
CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: What was the key difference between Team Europe and Asia this week?
ANIRBAN LAHIRI: We obviously played a very strong European Team and they played really well. I don’t think there was a big difference in the overall quality. I think all of us here are on the team because we are all very capable players. We all have the talent and the potential and the credentials.
Obviously we are a very young team when it comes to team golf. We have not played many team events. The Europeans have over 60 years of experience which they have learned from. They have become a powerhouse in team golf, but as The Ryder Cups and of course the performance this week, that has not all been that way. They have learned from their experiences, from their mistakes, and I think we are in a similar situation where we need to learn and improve.
I think we are all good enough to compete against any team in the world. So it’s a matter of time. It’s a matter of learning, and obviously building on this aspect, which has actually been missing from Asian golf.
CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Top singles match against Ian Poulter, what was the difference between you and Poulter in that match?
DANNY CHIA: I felt it was just down to putting. I thought that he’s more — more steady (ph) with the putting compared to mine. I’m a bit erratic today with my putting.
In terms of shot-to-shot, I think I would have had a good fight, but I think the end of the day, his putting was much better than mine today, yeah.
Q. What about Kiradech, he was a lion-hearted fighter today despite his physical state.
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: Fantastic. I think the way he went out, I thought he wouldn’t be able to play 18 holes. But he fought it out, and I think — I was just thinking that he’s going to last nine holes but he took him down to the 18th hole. I think he’s a fighter. I think he’s going to do well for him in the future because that’s what keeps a golfer going. I think he pushed himself to the limit today and I’m proud of him.
Q. Can you talk about Danny and Nicholas and their performances this week?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: Danny and Nicholas, fantastic show, especially in front of the home crowds. Normally when you play in front of your home crowds, you have a lot of pressure and I think they took it on a positive. They built on that and took it in the right stride and did really well the first two days.
I think they had a goodness which a of winning their matches, but I’m still proud of them.
Q. What did you say to them this morning in the locker room, did you speak to the players? Before they went out?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: Yes, I just feed the players with some positive comments and encourage them and make them believe in themselves and make sure that they think that they are one of the best players in the world, and they are the best. They just go out there and have fun and follow their routine.
Q. Can I ask you, obviously Europe put a lot of money into their team game, and we have seen that they have got a team of statisticians who are working with them who are out there, four guys just doing statistics, a whole group of people working on the team events aspect like Ryder Cup. What is the kind of preparation that is lacking for Asia, and maybe what learnings do you have from this event that you would like to tell the Asian Tour board that we should do things a little differently next time?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: I think we need to follow the same process as The European Tour. We’ve seen it for years now that they are the best team in the world in match play. They start their preparation two years before any team event or a year before I think we need to do exactly the same. We need to have a board meeting on this to set up a system which is in place for making sure that the team is ready. We’ve got everything, like you mentioned, the stats, the ranking points, selection of the players; so that we are ready and prepared like the Europeans are.
And it has been a good experience. I still feel that the team was really strong, and I think they still need to keep their chin up and believe in themselves that they are the world beaters and they are going to do really well and I wish them all the success. But the experience we have gained from this, that’s what we take away from here and nothing else.
Q. War your reflections on this week, your personal takeaways as captain of this team compromising of different nationalities?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: Fantastic. I think these guys were amazing to mingle with. They made me feel so good and such an honor they have given me. I think this will stay with me for the rest of my life. These boys have a lot of game in themselves and they are going to do well. I think they are going to prove themselves on the world stage and I believe in that. For the experience, I think it was fantastic to be hanging around with them, being out on the golf course, talking to them, encouraging them, and I think it was just a dream week for me.
Q. How do you look at this edition, your second appearance?
NICHOLAS FUNG: Yeah, I think overall it’s good for me, because I’ve got two halves for the first two match, and also good learning process for our Asian team. And yeah, we just need to look — we need to be better for the next EurAsia Cup, try to be stronger, yeah.
Q. Kiradech, would you have played 18 holes in any other tournament, if it was not for your 11 other team members?
KIRADECH APHIBARNRAT: No, I can say this morning, I mentioned to not playing — I ask the captain and the official, if I pull out before the tee off, the point going to be Europe’s side. I wouldn’t let the point away from me if I not try to do anything. I mean, Jeev work so hard for me and for our teams. I just want to go try. Even I’m going to lose the point, I’ve been try all days. (Applause).
Q. Danny, what did Ian Poulter have to say to you when you shook his hands?
DANNY CHIA: He told me his name is Ian Poulter (laughter).
CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Primarily a European Tour Member, first experience playing the EurAsia Cup, mixing around with a bunch of players, probably for the first time, how has the week been? And perhaps talk a little bit about the captaincy of Jeev Milkha Singh?
BYEONGHUN AN: Overall, it was probably the best experience I had of all my golf events I think. I love playing team events. First it’s really fun. Unfortunately we lost, but you know, that’s what it is. I enjoyed it. I’m sure everyone else did. And it’s just great to be with these guys and you know, captain was great, Jeev. It was a really enjoyable week, relaxed. We had a desire to win, definitely, in the team room. We just got unlucky I would say. I think we are as good as them but luck wasn’t on our side this time. But in two years, maybe it will turn back to us hopefully.
Q. Two years ago, you were one of the pivotal members of the Asian team when you had two points. This time, how much did it mean to win on the final day, though unfortunately Asia lost the Cup itself?
ANIRBAN LAHIRI: I guess it was nice for me on a personal note, but you want to be part of a team. I think the difference between this year’s performance and last year’s performance is we didn’t do as well as a team on Saturday and on Friday. I think it was a big effort from Nicholas and Danny, but we gave it 100 per cent. We tried our hearts out. But I think we all could have maybe putted a little bit better. I think that’s where the difference was on the greens. I think my teammates would also agree on that.
It’s good, we have all played together now. All of us are richer now from this experience. We have this to carry forward to the next time all of us are a part of this EurAsia Cup team again in two years. That’s going to help us to play better. That is going to help us to strategize better. It’s going to help us to bond and play as one unit, which is what we experienced this week, as well.
Q. Would more time together before the tournament started be any use to you in terms of you didn’t have too much time to bond before the week started, and for Anirban, how did you compare with the atmosphere in The Presidents Cup, which of course you were a very important part. We were told you were the joker in the back, but how did it compare?
JEEV MILKHA SINGH: I think we had enough time. Everybody came in by Monday night or Tuesday morning. We had enough practise rounds. We bonded really well. It’s just that this week, the shortfall was on the putting side, and that’s the way golf is played. I think, you know, one week when everything falls in place, you win. And the week one thing is missing, you don’t win, and I think that’s what happened this week. But I still believe in my players. I feel they are world beaters and they are going to do really well.
And after two years when we come back, we are going to be a stronger team, and we have gained a lot of experience from this.
ANIRBAN LAHIRI: Obviously it’s always a wonderful experience to be a part of team golf. I personally feel a lot more connected to the EurAsia Cup because this is my second time here. The Presidents Cup obviously was a dream for me. It was something that I’ll always keep close to my heart. It’s always special. I think there were plenty of jokers in this pack in the team room; there was no shortage. It was a very young team, as opposed to The Presidents Cup, where I was probably one of the most inexperienced players on the team.
But here, of course, it was not quite the case. I would say I’m relatively more experienced than some of us when it comes to team golf, since this is my third event.
But it’s always fantastic. When you arrive on a Monday and you know some players, you don’t know some players. But when you leave on Sunday, you’ve made 11 brothers. You’ve made 11 family members, because this week, everybody plays as one. We play as a family. We feel each other’s pain. We feel each other’s joy. If somebody wins a point, then you share your happiness because he knows that he’s contributed to the team. If you don’t play well, and you can’t get a point, then we all try and cheer that person up and vice versa, because that is what team golf is all about. You don’t play for yourself. You play for the team.
Each individual point adds up, and hopefully the next time we come out, we have a few more points that add up to what we need to win.
CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Last question to Thongchai. A draw in the first edition and defeat for this edition; what do you think Team Asia needs to do to try to get the upper hand?
THONGCHAI JAIDEE: This year, our team try so hard. Even Jeev, he is a very good captain. He say something, but the team try too hard, they are too strong for the team. I didn’t play well this week and I think we try to make in two years, we have to plan early to be on the team. That’s the key thing. The future and our team, we are so young, and the future, going to look forward, EurAsia Cup 2018, the future, that’s most important. We look forward to 2018 and we look forward I think we have more experience this time and maybe next time be a good chance for us to try to beat The European Team for the future.
CHUAH CHOO CHIANG: Thank you and a big hand to Asia and Captain Jeev Milkha Singh.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports