EurAsia Cup set to get underway in Shah Alam

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The Europeans will be guided by future Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn, while Arjun Atwal takes charge of Team Asia.

"I used all of December to get these thoughts down on paper and get my head straight about how I want this team to take shape".

The EurAsia Cup format sees six fourball matches contested today, six foursomes tomorrow and 12 singles matches on Sunday at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur. Asia have what is probably their strongest team ever in this event and we have to be focused.

(Back row left to right): Tommy Fleetwood, Alex Levy, Tyrrell Hatton, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Matt Fitzpatrick and Paul Dunne.

He was not eligible for the 2016 event after giving up his European Tour membership to focus on the PGA Tour, but the 40-year-old has now reversed that decision as he targets a place on the team at Le Golf National outside Paris in September.

Yet, Europe, who are also preparing for the Ryder Cup against the U.S. later this year, were not willing to take Asia lightly. "So, those 12 players in that room are very aware that they have got to go out and play golf this week".

"I think the whole match play feeling, you see it at The Ryder Cup, and obviously the USA guys have the Presidents Cup".

Asia seeks its first win in the third EurAsia Cup. "There is no such thing as an underdog in matchplay golf". "I even wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it".

Although the EurAsia Cup captaincy role is a first for Atwal, the Indian is revelling in it and already has his strategy mapped out with sound advice from close friends.

"There's all the stuff that happens off the course, all the friendships you build in the team room, all the amusing moments, and stressful moments, it's the fabric that makes your career".

"I thought I might play a few tournaments in December, but when I came off the 18th green at the Nedbank Golf Challenge I changed my mind and was glad not to be playing in December, because I have so many thoughts about the team".

Promising young Malaysian Gavin Green, the latest Asian Tour Order of Merit victor, is among a handful on the Asian side playing in the event at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club for the first time.

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