Europe make stirring comeback to down Asia

Europe make stirring comeback to down Asia

Pablo Martin holed the winning putt in a thrilling competition that went right to the wire, giving Europe an unlikely victory over an Asian team that needed just two and a half of the eight available points to win.

Europe dominated right from the start with polished performances by all eight players as the Asians caved under pressure and failed to win a single match, picking up two halves in a miserable day at the Black Mountain course.

The Europeans reduced the deficit point-by-point in a contest that could have gone either way and came right down to two pairings that were all-square.

Martin played the pivotal role in the victory when his superb chip from 25 metres landed a foot away from the pin. Jeev Milkha Singh failed to make the necessary 12-foot putt, leaving Martin with an easy tap-in to finish one up and lift the trophy.

“To be 6-2 down against an Asian team playing so fantastic says an awful lot for Europe,” said player-captain Colin Montgomerie. To come back and to not lose a single game against this team is quite amazing.”

Peter Hanson led the European charge with a crushing 7&6 win over a haphazard Liang Wenchong in the opening match, clinching six birdies from the 12 holes played to finish seven strokes up and put the holders in the drivers' seat.

Europe looked like a totally different team from the one trounced in Saturday's fourballs and were leading in seven of the eight pairings after only an hour of play in Hua Hin.
Late call-up Fredrik Andersson Hed was the next winner for Europe and his eagle on the 13th gave him the vital break against Yuta Ikeda to finish 2&1 and close the gap to two points.

South Korean Noh Seung-yul was dealt a painful blow after an impressive round when he ended up in the bunker on the 18th and allowed Henrik Stenson, who holed Europe's winner last year, to halve their match.

Newcomer Rhys Davies gained another crucial point after finishing four strokes ahead of an error-prone Ryo Ishikawa, who bogeyed five times, including the first two holes, in a dour round for the young Japanese who had shone in the first two days.  Mongomerie held his lead after three holes to beat Kim Kyung Tae 3&1 then Italian teenager Matteo Mannassero put Europe into contention after finishing one up against Shunsuke Sonoda, leaving team-mate Martin to clinch the decisive point.

Results: Europe bt Asia 9-7: Peter Hanson bt Liang Wenchong 7&6; Henrik Stenson halved Noh Seung-yul; Fredrik Andersson Hed bt Yuta Ikeda 2&1; Rhys Davies bt Ryo Ishikawa 4&2; Colin Montgomerie bt Kim Kyung-tae 3&1; Matteo Manassero bt Shunsuke Sonoda 1up; Pablo Martin bt Jeev Milkha Singh 1up; Johan Edfors halved Thongchai Jaidee.

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