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Asia win Dynasty Cup 16.5 - 7.5

Asia completed a majestic 16 1/2 – 7 1/2 triumph over Japan in the inaugural Phoenix Dynasty Cup Presented by VISA today after dominating the final day’s singles at Mission Hills Golf Club.

Thailand’s Thammanoon Srirot, who lost his two earlier matches, clinched the unassailable 13th point for Asia with a glorious 30-foot birdie putt which closed out Hiroyuki Fujita 4 & 3.

After seizing an overnight 8-4 lead following Saturday’s fourballs, Hsieh Min-nan’s men did not let up in their push for glory and wrapped up the title in stunning fashion by winning 8 1/2 points from 12 singles matches on the final day.

“My utmost congratulations to the players, who played very hard this week,” said Hsieh. “Some people might say that this is a failure for the Japan team but I see it as a success story for Asia.

“I was surprised by the margin of victory but it shows that the Asian players are very good. I was always confident that we would win as we needed only 4 1/2 points from the singles but to win by nine points was amazing,” added the Chinese Taipei veteran.

Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng started the ball rolling with a battling 2 & 1 win over Taichi Teshima in the first match before Korea’s Kang Wook-soon secured the second point of the day with a thumping 4 & 2 succcess over Tohru Suzuki.

Japan briefly fought back when Kiyoshi Murota blanked Lin Keng-chi of Chinese Taipei 6 & 5 but the Asian onslaught did not relent when Charlie Wi and Jyoti Randhawa put them on the brink of victory with further wins against Hajime Meshiai and Hirofumi Miyase, who replaced an ill Keiichiro Fukabori this morning.

The script for Asia could not have been written any better when Thammanoon, who kept reminding himself ‘I have to win, I have to win’ all day, provided the winning putt by draining a long birdie attempt on the 15th green to end his match against Fujita.

“I’m very happy,” said Thammanoon. “After losing my opening two matches, I was determined not to lose a third time. That would have been like ‘Bingo’. I just kept telling myself ‘I have to win, I have to win’.

“I pulled my opening tee shot with a three wood but after that, I went for the driver all the time and kept charging at the pins. I’m not surprised that we won so comfortably as I had a feeling that the Japanese players could not fight back. It’s great to win the first Dynasty Cup,” added that Thai star.

Compatriot Prayad was engaged in a close battle with Teshima in the top match and was one-down after 12 holes. But he produced a stunning birdie putt from 50 yards on 13 and holed another 30-footer on 15 to go 1-up. Teshima’s hopes were dashed on 16 when he lost his ball in the woods and drove his third shot into the hazard and conceded the hole.

“After finding out that I was first out, I knew it was my responsibility to get the first point for the team. I attacked whenever I had the opportunity but it was always very tight against Teshima. It all turned in my favour when I holed a really long putt on 13. It feels really good to be part of this winning team,” said Prayad, who was amongst the players who won all their games.

Japan skipper Isao Aoki couldn’t have asked for a worse start in his singles when Fukabori had to be replaced by Miyase after he fell ill with a stomach upset. But he paid tribute to the battling Asian side, who also dominated the fourballs on Saturday with five wins in six matches.

“My players tried their best but it was unfortunate that the result ended this way,” said Aoki, one of Japan’s golfing legends. “Our players were depressed after losing but this experience will make them stronger for future events.”

Randhawa, the reigning Asian PGA Tour number one, was amongst the players who registered three wins in as many matches. He trailed by one hole against Miyase after the 11th but finished strongly to win the 12th, 13th, 16th and 18th holes, the last with a 20-foot curler which delighted the partisan crowd.

“It was a great finish at the last. To win the first Dynasty Cup, it’s great for golf in Asia. It was a great match. We have really shown that Asian golf has come of age. It’s become better every year and it’s definitely world standard now as our guys are also winning on the European Tour.

“I’m looking forward to two years’ time. I never thought it would turn out to be so exciting. I’ve never felt so much pressure playing professional golf as I did on the first day. There was a lot of pride for us to play for,” added the Indian star.

China’s number one Zhang Lian-wei was delighted to savour victory in front of his hometown fans, who came in the thousands today. “Winning in Shenzhen and winning the first Dynasty Cup is just fantastic. Japan are a top golfing nation and to beat them here shows that Asian golf is making giant strides forward. The efforts taken by the Asian PGA over the years have now produced a group of capable players and will send a strong message to the world,” said Zhang, who beat Ernie Els in January to win the Caltex Masters Presented by Carlsberg in Singapore.

ASIA 16 1/2 JAPAN 7 1/2
Prayad Marksaeng (Asia) bt Taichi Teshima (Jpn) 2 & 1
Kang Wook-soon (Asia) bt Tohru Suzuki (Jpn) 4 & 2
Jyoti Randhawa (Asia) bt Hirofumi Miyase (Jpn) 2-holes Katsunori Kuwabara (Jpn) bt Thaworn Wiratchant (Asia) 2-holes Charlie Wi (Asia) bt Hajime Meshiai (Jpn) 4 & 3 Liang Wen-chong (Asia) bt Yasuharu Imano (Jpn) 1-hole Kiyoshi Murota (Jpn) bt Lin Keng-chi (Asia) 6 & 5 Thammanoon Srirot (Asia) vs Hiroyuki Fujita (Jpn) 4 & 3 Tommy Nakajima (Jpn) bt Arjun Atwal (Asia) 4 & 2 Thongchai Jaidee (Asia) vs Tomohiro Kondo (Jpn) All Square Jeev Milkha Singh (Asia) bt Katsumasa Miyamoto (Jpn) 2 & 1 Zhang Lian-wei (Asia) bt Nobuhito Sato (Jpn) 4 & 3


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