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Europe race to 5-0 lead in inaugural EurAsia Cup

(Reuters) - Captain Miguel Angel Jimenez and fellow Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal set the tone for the day in the opening match as Europe cruised to a 5-0 lead over Asia in the inaugural EurAsia Cup in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

The 50-year-old Jimenez led by example with two eagles and three birdies to help overcome Thai pair Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat 2 & 1 as Europe dominated the fourballs section of the new biennial event, co-sanctioned by the European and Asian tours.

In other matches, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Stephen Gallacher won 4 & 3 over the Indian pair of Anirban Lahiri and Gaganjeet Bhullar, while Victor Dubuisson and Joost Luiten secured a 3 & 2 win over Prayad Marksaeng and Siddikur Rahman.

Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and Thorbjorn Olesen had a two-up win against Japan pair Koumei Oda and Hideto Tanihara, while Graeme McDowell and Jamie Donaldson rallied from three down to defeat Nicholas Fung and Kim Hyung-sung 3 & 1.

The event started on Thursday with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak leading a minute's silence prior to the tee-off as a tribute to the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

The EurAsia Cup, based on a similar format to the Ryder Cup, will see the 10-man teams playing five more foursomes on Friday before the tournament concludes with singles matches on Saturday.

The first team to reach 10 1/2 points will be crowned champions.

(Writing by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by John O'Brien)

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