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Clarke's men crush Asia to claim crown

By Phil Casey

Europe eased to an emphatic 13-point victory against Asia in the EurAsia Cup in Kuala Lumpur. Darren Clarke's men were leading 9-3 heading into the third and final day of singles at the Glenmarie Golf & Country Club and extended that advantage in style, winning the tournament for the first time 18.5-5.5.

Danny Willett clinched the win with eight matches still out on course, taking Europe's fourth point against Byeong-hun An after Ian Poulter, Andy Sullivan and Lee Westwood had beaten Danny Chia, Thongchai Jaidee and Nicholas Fung respectively.

Bernd Wiesberger and Shane Lowry were the only Europeans to lose their matches as the hosts rallied through K.T Kim and Anirban Lahiri.

But there were wins for Matt Fitzpatrick, Kristoffer Broberg, Chris Wood, Soren Kjeldsen and Victor Dubuisson, while Ross Fisher's match with Jeung Hun Wang finished all square as Europe pulled away.

Clarke, who will also captain Europe's Ryder Cup team later this year, said: "What Lee and Poults have brought to the team room has been priceless.

"All of the young kids have listened to them, they've all learnt from them and I think it's been a hugely beneficial week.

"Massive credit to them. This Asian team was a strong team and the way Europe has played this week, I've been very, very impressed.

"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."

Clarke believes the victory was a valuable learning experience ahead of the Ryder Cup in September.

He added: "The team have played fantastic this week.

"There have been a lot of positives this week. I've learnt a few things, and hopefully I'll do a better job come September.

"The scoreboard was flattering, but these boys played some sensational golf throughout the tournament.

"They bonded as a team and as pairings, and as a captain I couldn't have asked for more from them.

"These were some of the best players in the world who wanted to be here and they showed it.

"I have enjoyed this week immensely and it's been a wonderful learning experience.

"As everyone knows, I have been around the game for a long time and done most things in the game.

"But this week has been different with the guys seemingly keen to listen to what I have had to say and if my little part in this week has helped them along then well be it.

"We will now go back after this week and sit down with the European Tour what I did well as a captain and what I could have done better, and then work on those areas so that we can get the whole package even better come September."

South Africa's Haydn Porteous carded a final round 69 to win his maiden European Tour title at the Joburg Open.

Porteous became the second South African in as many weeks to open his account after Brandon Stone's triumph at the BMW SA Open.

The 21-year-old, who had gone into the fourth day on the East Course at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club tied with compatriot Zander Lombard and England's Anthony Wall on 15 under par, completed a flawless round which included three birdies to finish two shots clear on 18 under.

Porteous said: "Words can't describe how I feel right now. It's surreal to be honest."

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