Japan’s fourth man score pivotal to beating Chinese Taipei in Asia-Pacific Golf Team Championship victory at Yas Links Abu Dhabi.
ABU DHABI, UAE (October 25, 2015) – A 26-year wait is finally over for Japan as they have won the Asia-Pacific Golf Team Championship today at Yas Links Abu Dhabi. In a nail-biting countback finish, which called on Japan’s fourth man Toshiki Ishitoku’s closing round of 75 to count, the Japanese team edged out their competitors from Chinese Taipei to claim the 27th Nomura Cup.
Held at the world-renowned Yas Links Abu Dhabi from Thursday 22nd to Sunday 25th October, 27 teams from countries spanning the Asia-Pacific region descended on Abu Dhabi for the first time in the competition’s history.
The 72-hole strokeplay event in Abu Dhabi was organised by the Emirates Golf Federation and Yas Links Abu Dhabi on behalf of the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation.
The event was eventually decided on countback, after both Japan and Chinese Taipei finished the week on a total of 842, 22-under par, collected from the best three of four scores each day. The Japanese Team of Daisuke Matsubara, Naoyuki Kataoka, Takumi Kanaya and Toshiki Ishitoku received the trophy from His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak al Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development during the Nomura Cup prize giving
Helped by an opening round 10-under par, 62 by Daisuke Matsubara, Team Japan have been on a sharp learning curve since welcoming their new coach, Gareth Jones little over three weeks ago. The team’s Captain, Katsuii Hotta was clearly buoyed by the victory and was quick to praise Japan’s new coach:
“It has been a long 26 years for Japan, this means a lot to us, this is huge. We started a new elite program just three weeks ago, this is a great and unimaginable start. This is all about Gareth Jones, The Gareth Jones effect! He really has led us to victory this week, as his preparation with technique and tactics have been fantastic. I let him control the team and I cannot thank him enough for what he has done.”
After a dominant recent spell from Australia who have won a record 10 Nomura Cups, the victory by Japan demonstrates their commitment to amateur golf, which Hotta can only see:
“With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in mind, we are aiming for a gold medal. Last year, we hosted the World Amateur Championships and we didn’t do very well. But this is an important step for Japan. We are trying to build a better program for our best amateurs golfers. This new program is designed to produce more successful golfers for our future.”
The team from Chinese Taipei consisting of Han-Ting Chiu, Chun-An Yu, Yung-Hua Liu and Sun-Yi Lu had lead from Day One but faltered in the final few holes of the award winning Kyle Phillips designed course. Korea was third on 16-under beating who finished on 15-under and New Zealand on 13-under.
Chinese superstar Cheng Jin won the individual event at the Nomura Cup with a dominant 13-under par total. He will play in the 2016 US Masters following his victory earlier this month at the 2015 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.