Inaugural EurAsia Cup slammed on First day
This handout photo taken and released on March 26, 2014 shows team Europe Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark teeing off during the EurAsia Cup in Glenamarie Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur on March 27, 2014 - by Paul Lakatos
In a dressing-down that was scathing by the standards of any sport, let alone the clubby world of golf, the Royal Trophy accused the two tours of opportunism in launching the rival Europe v Asia event, which it called an "extremely negative development" for golf.
"In our opinion, today is a very sad day for golf," Ivan Ballesteros, co-managing director of the Royal Trophy and nephew of late Spanish great Seve Ballesteros, said.
"For us, the launch of the EurAsia Cup is an act of aggression by the Asian and European Tours against the Royal Trophy and all of its partners," he added in a statement.
The attack was the latest and most direct salvo by organisers of the Royal Trophy, which was spearheaded by Seve Ballesteros and kicked off in 2006, against the EurAsia cup, jointly backed by the European Tour and Asian Tour.
Both tournaments pit Europe against Asia in a Ryder Cup-style format.
The actual EurAsia Cup competition was relegated to a sideshow in the row, with Team Europe crushing Asia 5-0 in the opening day four-ball matches and taking a huge step toward victory in the competition at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur.
There was no immediate response seen from the European and Asian Tours to Ballesteros's remarks.
The tournament has become the latest skirmish in the battle for control of Asian golf between the Asian Tour and its rival OneAsia, which supports the Royal Trophy and has been holding tournaments in the region since 2009.
Ballesteros said the European Tour "took advantage" of the Royal Trophy's success by establishing the EurAsia Cup in violation of the spirit of an earlier agreement to respect the Royal Trophy.
He also lamented that EurAsia Cup players were stuck in the middle, having to answer media queries about the controversy.
"The European and the Asian Tours should be the ones answering these questions from the media," he said.
European captain Miguel Angel Jimenez and fellow Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal gave their side the perfect start by beating Team Asia leader Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and his countryman Kiradech Aphibarnrat 2 and 1.
The Europe juggernaut continued through the day, with the pairings of Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson finding victory, as did Danes Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen, and France's Victor Dubuisson and Joost Luiten of the Netherlands.
"We somehow managed to make the turn at one-down which was huge," McDowell said. "And this guy (Donaldson) had a phenomenal back nine... It was great to watch."
Spain's Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Stephen Gallacher of Scotland enjoyed the biggest win of the day, defeating India's Gaganjeet Bhullar and Anirban Lahiri 4 and 3.
Before tee-off, Malaysia's prime minister led a minute of silence for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which went missing shortly after take-off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8 and is presumed crashed in the southern Indian Ocean with 239 people killed.
All players and officials wore black ribbons, and visitors were able to leave a message on a wall of condolence, the organisers said.
The EurAsia Cup continues with five foursomes pairings on Friday and finishes with 10 singles matches on Saturday.
Europe only need another five-and-a-half points from the 15 available over the next two days.