The upbeat mood in the Team Asia camp on the eve of the inaugural competition was just the opposite at the end of the proceedings on the first day of the three-day event. Expected to provide a close contest in home conditions, the Asian were outplayed as the visiting European team ran up a 5-0 lead, whitewashing the hosts in the fourball competitions.
Leading the Europeans from the front was their skipper Miguel Angel Jimenez, who also put up the day's best individual showing. He was teaming up with Pablo Larrazabal.
They beat Asian skipper Thongchai Jaidee and Asia No. 1 Kiradech Aphibarnrat 2 & 1 and that set the trend for the day.
The day's heaviest losers were Bhullar and Lahiri, who lost 4 & 3 on the 15th hole. This was despite Bhullar sinking five birdies, the joint best of the day among Asians along with Kiradech.
But they were up against Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, who set the course on fire with an electric second shot that went into the cup from nearly 150 yards out on the fairway. That eagle gave them a 1-up lead and they never relinquished it and went on to win four more holes and lost only once on 14th.
Gonzalo's partner, Stephen Gallacher, too, had an eagle and the pair played very good and efficient golf.
After Jimenez and Larrazabal beat Thongchai and Kiradech 2 & 1, Victor Dubuisson and Joost Luiten secured a 3 & 2 win over Prayad Marksaeng and Kim Hyung-sung, while Fernandez-Castano and Gallacher completed a 4 & 3 win over Lahiri and Bhullar.
The Danish players Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen were taken to the 18th before adding another hole to the 1-up lead they had going to the 18th tee, against Japan's Koumei Oda and Hideto Tanihara.
Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson trailed by three after seven holes, but came back strongly to beat Nicholas Fung and Kim Hyung-sung 3 & 1.


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