Weekend winners: Europe crush Asia, Porteous and Gomez winJanuary, 2016
Poulter leads Clarke's men to victory
EurAsia Cup: Europe 18½ – Asia 5½
Europe won the second EurAsia Cup (the first was a tie) by a landslide as eight of the Sunday singles were still on the course when Danny Willett secured the winning point.
This provided a fourth straight point of the day following Ian Poulter, Andy Sullivan and Matt Fitzpatrick’s early victories.
For the third consecutive day Poulter led Europe out with a winning point (he, Sullivan and Westwood all finished the week with 100 per cent records) before KT Kim and Anirban Lahiri provided the only singles victories for Asia.
Jeung Hun Wang also contributed a half with a birdie putt at the 18th to deny Fisher a third victory.
Chris Wood, Kristoffer Broberg, Victor Dubuisson and Soren Kjeldsen then completed an emphatic week for Darren Clarke’s side with further wins. In the end they won 9.5 of the 12 singles.
What skipper Darren Clarke said: “If your players don’t play and don’t perform then you can be the best captain in the whole world and you’re not going to win, so the credit doesn’t belong to me, it belongs to the players. The quality of the golf they have played this week has been brilliant.”
What skipper Jeev Milkha Singh said:“I think we need to follow the same process as The European Tour. We’ve seen it for years now that they are the best team in the world in match play. They start their preparation two years before any team event or a year before I think we need to do exactly the same.”
I Poulter W3
D Willett W2 L1
A Sullivan W3
M Fitzpatrick W2 L1
S Lowry W2 L1
B Wiesberger W2 L1
L Westwood W3
R Fisher W2 H1
C Wood W2 L1
K Broberg W2 L1
V Dubuisson W1 H2
S Kjeldsen W1 H2
European Tour: Joburg Open – Haydn Porteous
The young South African compiled a bogey-free 69 for a two-shot win and a place at the Open Championship alongside compatriot Zander Lombard and Anthony Wall of England.
This was the second straight week we had a South African 1-2 and Porteous, a Challenge Tour graduate, won it with a close-range birdie at the 14th and, despite missing further opportunities coming home, he found the par-5 last and two-putted to hold off Lombard.
Sweden’s Bjorn Akesson led after a hat-trick of birdies from the 8th but a three-putt at the 18th meant he missed out on a place at Royal Troon in July.
Wall’s higher world ranking ensured he claimed the final place on offer.
Meanwhile Irish rookie Paul Dunne struggled to a 72 to finish five back while halfway leader Ross McGowan added a second straight 73 to tie for 10th.
What Porteous said: “Words can’t describe how I feel. It’s surreal to be honest. I’ve been battling with my golf for the last few months and hats off to [fitness coach] Garth Milne for all the strategy and game plan and gym.
“I started to hit a few fairways and a lot more greens and gave myself some chances to make birdie. Unfortunately the putts didn’t go in, but I was keeping the pressure low and making sure I was going to be making par.”
PGA Tour: Sony Open in Hawaii – Fabian Gomez
A second win for the Argentinian after making seven straight birdies around the turn and then beating Brandt Snedeker in a play-off.
No putt was longer than 12 feet – he then followed it with back-to-back bogeys – but then birdied the closing two holes, the last from off the green, to record a 62 and get to 20 under. He then produced an 11th birdie of the day to win at the second extra hole.
Snedeker got up and down at the 72nd hole to make the play-off, closing with a 66, but then couldn’t repeat the four, missing from 12 and 10 feet in the extra holes.
Gomez chose to hit a hybrid at the second extra hole, having missed the fairway all week, and it paid off as he found the par 5 in two.
The victory moves him to No. 55 in the world rankings and improves his chances of playing in the Olympics this summer.
Zac Blair nearly joined the play-off with a 3-wood he called the best of his life from 280 yards on the closing hole. He then missed from 10 feet.
What Gomez said: “I felt good all week long and was about to put on a great round. And I had Brandt Snedeker in front of me. I got on a streak with seven putts in a row. And it makes me feel good and feel like I could win the tournament.”