Ryder Cup 2018
Jan 12th, 2018
Casey & Fleetwood. The dream Ryder Cup partnership?
Off to a flyer at EurAsia Cup
Words: Tim Southwell Photography: European Tour Styling: GolfPunk
Has Thomas Bjorn struck the first blow ahead of this year's Ryder Cup in Paris? His partnering Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey together in the first day of the EurAsia Cup looks an inspired decision.
Bjorn put the pair our in the first match and they didn't disappoint, beating Byeong Hun An and Kiradech Aphibarnrat 4&3.
"I was just trying to make sure I would make my debut back in Europe with style," said Casey after the victory. " Three years being away, I had to do something positive, and after getting a captain's pick and then getting a Race to Dubai Champion as my partner, yeah, I had to get off to a flyer. So it was fantastic."
Race To Dubai Champion Fleetwood said: "Paul had the eagle in the back ... and then we just finished strong. It was a really good game and it really was fun. People say it, I had such a great time. I was really buzzing while we were playing."
Well, that's one pairing for Paris sorted. It's also another shot in the arm for the argument we should have more match play tournaments in a bid to make the game more exciting to watch, especially on TV.
"I love match play said Casey. "Especially when you have a partner like Tommy Fleetwood. What a blast, what great golf we played, but the Asians threw a lot at us, as well. Ecstatic to get this going and get a point because it's going to be a tough week."
In other news, a brilliant birdie at the last from Li Haotong saw Asia finish the opening day of the 2018 EurAsia Cup with a 3½-2½ lead.
After making a shaky start to Friday's fourball matches, defending champions Europe rallied in the afternoon and had a chance to head into the weekend on level terms.
As he prepared to leave the media centre after his press conference, Casey gave us a glimpse into how much he loves the team format and how much he has missed the Ryder Cup: "We're going to stay right here and support these guys all the way through to the end. There are a few holes left. Hopefully, we can turn it around to get another couple of points our way."
But in the day's final clash, Li held his nerve to win the 18th hole and halve the match against Rafa Cabrera Bello and Bernd Wiesberger.
All to play for.
Highlights of day 1