War­ren eyes place in Clarke’s EurA­sia team

The Herald - Sport - - RUGBY UNION, GOLF - BERNIE MCGUIRE

WITH Euro­pean Ry­der Cup cap­tain Dar­ren Clarke set to be named to­day as skip­per for the 2016 EurA­sia Cup, Marc War­ren, Scot­land’s top-ranked golfer, has put for­ward his case for se­lec­tion.

The sec­ond stag­ing of the now bi­en­nial EurA­sia Cup will take place in March next year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Clarke’s ri­val cap­tain will be Jeev Milkha Singh, the In­dia-born 2012 Scot­tish Open cham­pion.

War­ren has played in two Seve Tro­phy en­coun­ters and a Royal Tro­phy and with both events no longer on the sched­ule, the EurAsian Cup is now seen as a real step­ping stone into the Euro­pean Ry­der Cup team. Five of last year’s Euro­pean EurA­sia Cup team, in­clud­ing Stephen Gal­lacher, went on some six months later to com­pete at Gle­nea­gles.

“I’ve got plenty of team ex­pe­ri­ence hav­ing won the 2007 World Cup with Monty [Colin Mont­gomerie] and win­ning the Seve Tro­phy the same year plus I was on the win­ning 2013 Royal Tro­phy team,” said War­ren.

“To play in the EurA­sia Tro­phy would be even more ex­pe­ri­ence on the route to play­ing Ry­der Cup.”

It will be a first taste of team cap­taincy for both Clarke and Singh. The North­ern Ir­ish­man is cur­rently at Hazel­tine, the venue for the 2016 Ry­der Cup, as part of the ‘Year To Go’ cer­e­mony. He said: “It’s not only a great hon­our to be asked to cap­tain the Euro­pean EurA­sia Cup team but it’s a great op­por­tu­nity to get a close-hand look at some younger guys who are do­ing well on the Tour who could pos­si­bly qual­ify for the Ry­der Cup team. There’s also a chance to size up pos­si­ble Hazel­tine pair­ings, so events like the EurA­sia Cup can be a good breed­ing ground for the Ry­der Cup.

“I was plan­ning to be out in Kuala Lumpur any­way but now in ac­cept­ing the cap­taincy role I will get more in­ter­ac­tion with the play­ers, and play­ers I could very well be tak­ing with me to the States later next year.”

Mean­while, Thai­land’s Thongchai Jaidee pro­duced a flaw­less fi­nal round to claim vic­tory at the Porsche Euro­pean Open in Ger­many ahead of English­man Graeme Storm.

Scot­land’s Scott Jamieson posted a 73 for a share of 55th place at two un­der par, with the Glaswe­gian drop­ping three spots to 107th on the Race to Dubai and just three shy of los­ing his card for a first time in his pro ca­reer. Fifer Peter White­ford signed off for a 75 to drop to a share of 60th place at level par.

Overnight leader Jaidee posted four birdies in his bo­gey-free round of 67 on Sun­day to fin­ish on 17 un­der, one shot ahead of Storm, and se­cure his sev­enth Euro­pean Tour ti­tle.

Jaidee had Storm level with him un­til the 17th, when the lat­ter found the wa­ter with his tee shot, lead­ing to his sole bo­gey of the day.

Over­tak­ing Colin Mont­gomerie as the com­pe­ti­tion’s old­est win­ner, the 45-year-old Jaidee then sealed his tri­umph with a fine six-foot putt on the 18th. Swe­den’s Pelle Ed­berg was third, two shots be­hind Storm, Scott Hend of Aus­tralia was fourth and Wales’ Jamie Don­ald­son and Eng­land’s Ross Fisher were among four play­ers tied for fifth.

Jaidee made just two bo­geys in the en­tire com­pe­ti­tion and even he was slightly sur­prised at his fin­ish­ing score.

“It’s a very spe­cial week for me,” said Jaidee on the Euro­pean Tour web­site. “It is the third time I have won out­side of Asia, so I’m very ex­cited about that and I’m happy to win this tour­na­ment.

“I’m feel­ing very con­fi­dent at the mo­ment. I didn’t make many mis­takes this week. I played very nicely and 17 un­der is some score for me. I liked the golf course. It’s not very long and you have to keep it in play. Graeme Storm played very well too. It was very ex­cit­ing on the last three holes. The 18th is tough and you can’t miss the fair­way. I had to go left and then it was a good chip and a good putt at the last to win.”

Af­ter be­ing pipped to the ti­tle, Storm re­mains on one Euro­pean Tour win, achieved at the Open de France eight years ago. How­ever, the 37-year-old took so­lace from a run­ners-up fin­ish, say­ing: “I’m very pleased. I’ve se­cured my card and I’ve got a job again for next year.

“That was the main thing at the start of the week and to­day as well. Maybe I could have holed a few more putts and the ti­tle would be mine, but con­grat­u­la­tions to Thongchai, he made a great up and down on the last. It wasn’t meant to be. It was vi­tal to fin­ish sec­ond on my own and I’m look­ing for­ward to try­ing to qual­ify for The Race to Dubai fi­nal rather than hav­ing to go to Q-School. It’s amaz­ing to think all of a sud­den I might be able to qual­ify for that.”

HIGH HOPES: Marc War­ren, who missed the cut at the Porsche Euro­pean Open, would rel­ish a crack at the EurA­sia Cup

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