Local stars Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung are eager to secure a point for Team Asia after being paired together by Captain Jeev Milkha Singh in the opening day’s Fourball session at the EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM on Friday.
The Malaysian duo are determined to help Team Asia get off to a strong start when they face Victor Dubuisson of France and Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen in the third match out at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club.
Fung, a captain’s pick, refers to Chia as his mentor but the roles will be somewhat reversed in the Ryder Cup-styled event as the latter will tap on the experience of Fung, who featured in the inaugural EurAsia Cup two years ago.
“I’m feeling honoured to be representing Team Asia. I think I’ll be the rookie for this format and this EurAsia Cup. I’ve got Nicholas on my back, so that eases me a little bit. Looking forward for tomorrow,” said Chia, who qualified for Team Asia on merit.
The 43-year-old Chia, a two-time winner on the Asian Tour, said the team spirit has been fantastic this week despite the squad featuring players from six different nationalities and players speaking in several languages.
“We spend a lot of time together with our teammates. We have dinner every night together to try to get closer to each other and have some kind of a chemistry. We spending a lot of time talking about the game plan and watching our teammates closely to know more about their games,” said Chia.
Chia is hoping that his two wins on the Asian Development Tour (ADT) at Glenmarie will provide him and Fung an advantage.
“I feel pressured but it is very positive pressure that drives me to do well. I think by making the team, it already makes me really confident about my game. It’s a match-play event, and I don’t have to worry about trying to play it safe here. I just try to go for everything and play against my opponent,” said the Malaysian number one.
The 25-year-old Fung was not surprised with the pairing, saying their familiarity with each other’s games will give them an extra edge.
“It is a great pairing with Danny. We both feel very comfortable and know each other’s games very well. It will be very interesting and we want to do well for the team. I think we will get a lot of home support and that will spur us on,” said Fung.
Captain Singh is counting on the Malaysian duo to play an important role in the Fourball session. “I think match play is quite different. So to make sure that when a player starts off well in the first few holes, and especially the groups which are strong, I think it feeds off on the other groups, too.
“So that was my main reason to put Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung together. Home course knowledge, crowds are going to come out, cheer them on, support them, and I think that makes a lot of difference when you’re playing in your home country,” said Singh.