Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez poses after being selected as the playing captain for Team Europe for the inaugural EurAsia Cup, at a news conference in Hong KongSpain's Miguel Angel Jimenez poses after being selected as the playing captain for Team Europe for the inaugural EurAsia Cup, at a news conference in Hong Kong December 2, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip
(Reuters) - Miguel Angel Jimenez is to skipper Europe while Thongchai Jaidee will captain Asia in the first edition of the Ryder Cup-style EurAsia Cup next year.
The biennial tournament, co-sanctioned by the European and Asian tours, is to be held over three days at the Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur from March 27-29.
Playing-captain Jimenez will have British pair Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson, Frenchman Victor Dubuisson and fellow Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano as his four automatic choices.
Four more players from the world rankings and a captain's pick will complete Europe's 10-man team.
"The EurAsia Cup ... is a very exciting event and I can't wait to get to Malaysia," Jimenez said in a statement on Monday.
"We have Europe playing the U.S. at the Ryder Cup and it is great to now have a fully-sanctioned, official competition for the Europeans to play against the best from Asia.
"With so many world-class players now emerging from the Asian Tour it is sure to be a close contest."
Thai Thongchai, a three-times Asian Tour order of merit winner, will also be a playing captain.
His team is to be made up of the leading four players from their final order of merit, the top three available from the world rankings and two captain's picks.
"I am honhonoredoured and delighted to be asked to captain Team Asia. Week in, week out we compete as individuals but the EurAsia Cup ... gives us a different way to play the sport," said Thongchai.
"I am a huge fan of the Ryder Cup but being Asian I will never get to play in it.
"The EurAsia Cup will offer the chance for the best Asian and European players to come together and I am looking forward to leading a determined group that will do their very best for team honor and pride," added Thongchai.
(Writing by Sudipto Ganguly, editing by Tony Jimenez)