India’s Arjun Atwal has been announced as captain of Team Asia to tackle a Thomas Bjorn led Team Europe side in January’s EurAsia Cup in Malaysia.
The 44-year-old former Asian number one will be looking for his 12-man team to win back the trophy won two years ago by a then Darren Clarke-led European side from January 12-14 on the Glenmaris Golf and Country Club course in suburban Kuala Lumpur.
It will be the third staging of the event – the inaugural edition in 2014 ended in a 10-all draw.
It is a first taste of team captaincy for both Atwal and Bjorn, and with the Dane looking for valuable insight into the eventual make-up of his 2018 European Ryder Cup side.
“I am delighted and honoured to be the captain of the European EurAsia Cup team and I am very much looking forward to the challenge that will await us in January from what I am sure will be a strong Asian team on home soil,” said Bjorn.
“I was lucky enough to be a member of the European Team for the first EurAsia Cup in 2014 and I have seen the event grow and develop since then. We have some of the best golfers in the world in Europe and I am relishing the opportunity to work closely with them as individuals and as a team to try and ensure we keep the trophy in European hands.”
It is very much the same feeling for Atwal, an eight-time Asian Tour winner including being crowned Asian Tour No. 1 in 2003 and the first Indian-born golfer to win on the PGA Tour, triumphing in the Wyndham Championship in 2010.
“I am proud to captain Team Asia in this very special event. I expect to lead a strong and confident team against Europe so I’ll do my best to inspire Team Asia,” he said.
At this stage of qualifying the European Team, and if they commit to the event, would include Masters champion Sergio Garcia along with compatriot John Rahm, England’s Olympic champion Justin Rose and four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy.