Shane Lowry would be happy to partner Andy Sullivan in a potential Ryder Cup debut after the European pair secured another vital point for skipper Darren Clarke in the Eurasia Cup in Malaysia.
World No 21 Lowry and No 36 Sullivan are fancied to challenge for places in Clarke’s European Ryder Cup side to face the USA at Hazeltine later this year
And after adding a 3 and 2 foursomes win to their opening day fourball victory as Europe took a six-point lead into the final day, Lowry confessed that he's not averse to a future partnership with the 29-year old from Nuneaton.
“Andy is a great lad,” Lowry said after their foursomes win over Prayad Marksaeng and Shingo Katayama.
"We have very similar personalities. We’re kind of happy-go-lucky, and we just get on really well. I said I was surprised early on when I was paired with him, but I wasn’t disappointed.
"He’s a great player and a great putter. We’ve just gelled really well the last two days, and it was nice to get points for the team.
"Maybe down the line, I could see myself playing with him again.”
Lowry will be keen to wrap up a good week and a positive start to 2016 with a singles win over India's Anirban Lahiri at No 5 in the order.
As for Saturday's foursomes, Ian Poulter again led from the front as the Englishman partnered compatriot Danny Willett to a resounding 3 and 2 success over Byeonghun An and Thongchai Jaidee in the opening match.
By the time Victor Dubuisson and Søren Kjeldsen had salvaged a half point from their tussle with the Malaysian duo of Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung in the final match left on the course, Europe had established a commanding 9-3 lead.
Perhaps the performance of the day came from Englishmen Matt Fitzpatrick and Lee Westwood, who went one down to Anirban Lahiri and Wu Ashun after bogeying the first, but proceeded to rattle off five birdies in sealing a superb 5 and 4 triumph.
As Lowry and Sullivan also continued their impressive form with another solid win, Ross Fisher and Bernd Wiesberger beat KT Kim and Jeunghun Wangtwo up after a closing birdie as Kristoffer Broberg and Chris Wood fell at the 18th to SSP Chawrasia and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.
Perhaps the match of the day was between Dubuisson and Kjeldsen and local heroes Chia and Fung, which swung one way then the other before both sides settled for a tie after parring the final hole at Glenmarie Golf & Country Club, in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.
Just 3½ points will be needed in the Sunday singles to ensure victory for Europe, but Captain Clarke is understandably guarding against complacency and was quick to remind his side of the inaugural match, which ended in a tie after Asia mounted a stunning comeback on the final day.
“I go back to Brookline in 1999 when we had a big lead and lost. We obviously have a commanding lead right now, but there’s still a lot of golf to play tomorrow against a very strong Asian team.
"So under no circumstances will we underestimate the challenge that we still have to do. But at the same time I’m obviously delighted for the team that we are in this position.
“There’s no hands on any trophy in any golf tournament until you finish the last hole on a Sunday afternoon.
"I have been in the game too long to know that, whether it’s a stroke play or a team tournament. I think we’re probably in for another exciting day tomorrow again.”
“We played very nicely. We spoke after about five holes, and said it’s all about keeping the pressure on. Don’t give anybody anything – any little window or any little door – and that’s exactly what we did today. We drove it well, and put it in play and only missed a couple of shots between us all day. We holed a couple of nice putts and had them under pressure right from the start.”
“Matt did say on TV after the round that he grew up watching me on TV, which made me feel a lot older. I’m always impressed with him, not just today. I saw how good a player he is and I don’t see too many weaknesses in his game.
“He’s gaining in confidence and he’s becoming more knowledgeable all the time. I think he’s a fast learner. If he keeps going the way he is, he’s a really solid, grounded individual and he’s just going to get better.”
Lowry has also formed a formidable table tennis partnership with Pouter, tweeting this video later in the day:
Europe 9 Asia 3
Saturday’s Foursomes Results (Team Europe first)
- Ian Poulter/Danny Willett bt Byeonghun An/Thongchai Jaidee 3 & 2
- Bernd Wiesberger/Ross Fisher bt K.T. Kim/Jeunghun Wang 2-UP
- Kristoffer Broberg/Chris Wood lost to S.S.P. Chawrasia/Kiradech Aphibarnrat 2-UP
- Shane Lowry/Andy Sullivan bt Prayad Marksaeng/Shingo Katayama 3 & 2
- Soren Kjeldsen/Victor Dubusison and Danny Chia/Nicholas Fung halved
- Lee Westwood/Matthew Fitzpatrick bt Anirban Lahiri/Wu Ashun 5 & 4
Sunday’s Singles Matches (Team Europe first)
- 8.35am Ian Poulter vs Danny Chia
- 8.45am Danny Willett vs Byeonghun An
- 8.55am Andy Sulliva vs Thongchai Jaidee
- 9.05am Matthew Fitzpatrick vs Kiradech Aphibarnrat
- 9.15am Shane Lowry vs Anirban Lahiri
- 9.25am Bernd Wiesberger vs K.T. Kim
- 9.35am Lee Westwood vs Nicholas Fung
- 9.45am Ross Fisher vs Jeunghun Wang
- 9.55am Chris Wood vs S.S.P. Chawarasia
- 10.05am Kristoffer Broberg vs Shingo Katayama
- 10.15am Victor Dubuisson vs Wu Ashun
- 10.25am Soren Kjeldsen vs Prayad Marksaeng.