Graeme McDowell inspires Europe to a 5-0 EurAsia Cup lead

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell and Wales' Jamie Donaldson helped Europe establish a 5-0 lead over Asia in the inaugural EurAsia Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

McDowell and Donaldson rallied from three down to defeat Nicholas Fung and Kim Hyung-sung 3&1 as Europe dominated the fourballs on day one of the event.

Captain Miguel Angel Jimenez and Pablo Larrazabal had won the opening match.

The EurAsia Cup is based on the Ryder Cup format and the first team to get past 10 points are crowned champions.

Analysis

"The build-up to the event has been overshadowed by a rancorous dispute involving one of the best-loved names in the game, with the European and Asian Tours pitted against the family of the late Seve Ballesteros.

The row has developed because the EurAsia Cup effectively usurps the Royal Trophy, a team contest between Asia and Europe played since 2006 that was Ballesteros's brainchild and run by his company."

McDowell highlighted Donaldson's play over the final nine holes as the key to the pair's victory.

"We somehow managed to make the turn at one-down, which was huge. And this guy [Donaldson] had a phenomenal back nine. It was great to watch," he said.

"To be 5-0 up is a fantastic start," added Donaldson. "We have always said we can't underestimate them because at the end of the day we are playing in Malaysia."

Jimenez carded two eagles and three birdies as, along with fellow Spaniard Larrazabal, he overcame Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat 2&1.

In other matches, Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Scotland's Stephen Gallacher won 4&3 against Indian pair Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar.

France's Victor Dubuisson and Joost Luiten of the Netherlands secured a 3&2 win over Prayad Marksaeng and Siddikur Rahman.

Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen had a two-up victory against Japan pair Koumei Oda and Hideto Tanihara.

The three-day EurAsia Cup continues on Friday, with the 10-man teams playing five more foursomes before the tournament concludes with singles matches on Saturday.

Build-up to the event has been overshadowed by a row between the organising tours and Amen Corner, the family firm of the late Seve Ballesteros responsible for the Royal Trophy, a separate Europe v Asia team competition.

In a statement released on Thursday, Ivan Ballesteros, nephew of the five-time major winner, said: "The European Tour's stance is indefensible.

"They are acting directly against the request of Seve Ballesteros, a golfer who the European Tour itself always describes as having made an important contribution to the development of the Tour."

And he claimed that European Tour chief executive George O'Grady had "admitted" it had been a mistake to proceed with the rival event.

"We understand that the European Tour is in a very difficult position now because they know that the launch of the EurAsia Cup was a mistake," he claimed. "The European Tour has actually confirmed this in writing and verbally."

The European Tour has not yet commented on the claims.