Europe eye another win

Golf Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy

Europe eye another win

Leading amateur golfers of Asia-Pacific and Europe will resume their battle for supremacy when the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy kicks off here on Wednesday.
An ideal platform to showcase their talent before they take the professional plunge, European golfers have dominated this biennial event by winning it five times in seven editions and will once again start favourites at the par-72 Karnataka Golf Association.

Plenty of factors have contributed to Europe’s overwhelming success in this Ryder Cup-style event.

The experience of playing matchplay and team golf often, especially foursomes, and the plethora of amateur events across their continent help them deliver the goods in unison.

This time around too, they’ve travelled with a formidable squad and will be keen on extending their reign to 10 years.

Ashley Chesters, the reigning European Amateur champion, is the in-form player and will be leading their charge while the exciting young 16-year-old Dominic Foos, who finished 16th at the European Tour’s Qatar Masters in January, will be one of the talents to watch out for.

Then there’s the in-form and hugely experienced Ryan Evans, the big-hitting Mario Galiano Aguilar, the 6’4’’ James Ross as well as 18-year-old Italian Renato Paratore.

Despite the ammunition at his disposal, Europe captain Andrew B Morgan refused to call themselves as favourites.

“I never think anyone is a favourite. It’s a match where almost every time you have a different side and I consider both of us to be equals. Of course, we’ve enjoyed a good spell (winning five times and three in a row) but on Wednesday, we start at ground zero. We’ve had a good practice session over the last couple of days and I’m really geared up for the event,” said Morgan.

What could provide a stiff test for the Europeans is the sweltering conditions and a determined Asia-Pacific squad will be banking on their experience of playing in such hot weather to lay their hands on the coveted trophy once again.

 Koreans Nam-Hun Kim and Soo-Min Lee will be keen to showcase their country’s rapid rise in world golf, Australians Geoff Drakeford and Taylor MacDonald have the game to shine in such conditions while Chinese teenagers Zecheng Dou and Jin Cheng offer plenty of promise.

“Both teams have a great chance and it’s going to be a great match. The conditions at the course and the weather favour us slightly. What’s important is to get the right mix and hope the players gel well and deliver the goods,” felt Asia-Pacific vice-captain Brad A Schadewitz.

Having said that, a few of the European players had a training session in Perth during the winter season to get used to the sultry weather and the Asia-Pacific players will have to be at their best to stop another defeat.

Course wise, KGA will play in its usual ways, with the organisers promising to quicken the already quick greens. With the sun beating down hard over the last week, the fairways may play a bit dry and the lack of wind could aid the big-hitters.

“I think you have to make sensible decisions. I think there are water bodies at a quite few places. The players have studied the course and have done their homework. It’s a typical championship course where you have to attack some holes and defend some. There’s plenty of opportunity to showcase their skills,” said Morgan.

On the face of it, the Europeans hold the edge but Asia-Pacific will gunning to prove they are no pushovers.DH News Service

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