China's Li Haotong helps Team Asia lead in Eurasia Cup

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Defending champions Europe trail Asia by one point after the opening day of the EurAsia Cup in Malaysia.

After a disappointing opening day's foursomes which saw Asia hold a 3½-2½ advantage, Bjorn decided to make four partnership changes in his make-up for Saturday's action - Fitzpatrick with Pieters and Alex Noren alongside British Masters victor Paul Dunne stayed together - while Asia's line-up had no changes.

It was followed by the English duo of Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton who beat Team Asia's Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand) and An Byeong-hun (South Korea), 2&1 and England's Matthew Fitzpatrick and Belgium's Thomas Pietrers who defeated Thailand's Poom Saksansin and South Korea's Kang Sung-hoon, 3&2. "I love match play, especially when you have a partner like Tommy Fleetwood".

Bjorn said he was not surprised at the result in the $4.8 million EurAsia Cup, which runs till Sunday at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club near Kuala Lumpur.

"I'm ecstatic to get this going and get a point because it's going to be a tough week".

The anchor match saw Bernd Wiesberger partner Englishman Ross Fisher, a victor on Friday, against Haotong Li and Nicholas Fung but despite moving 2up at the par five 6th green Asia responded quickly and Li continued his strong putting display from the opening day's play to secure a 3&1 win and maintain Asia's slender advantage heading into Sunday's singles.

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The hosts then ended the opening day in fine style as Li Haotong's stunning final hole birdie secured a half for himself and Nicholas Fung against Rafa Cabrera Bello and Bernd Wiesberger. The Englishman and the Belgian made a combined seven birdies on day one yet still fell 2 and 1 to the aforementioned Green and Ikeda so will be keen to bounce back over the weekend.

They dominated throughout the match, with Kang firing birdies on the first two holes, and Poon scoring a birdie on the 14th.

Despite his win, England's Casey said his opponents fought hard: "What great golf we played, but the Asians threw a lot at us". "But we expected that". The rust had been knocked off the golf swings in practice and maybe the competitive rust might have needed to be knocked off today.

"We are looking forward to the challenge ahead, but we are in a position where we feel like we knew we could find ourselves in, and we knew this Asian team is very strong and very much ready to play".

He better hope so, or his Ryder Cup dress rehearsal could be a complete a flop.

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