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Japan regains Nomura Cup

Japan, behind the steady play of Yuta Sugiura, secured a record-tying 10th victory in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Team Championship  after outplaying a gritty Singaporean side in the final round yesterday at the Masters course of the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club in Carmona, Cavite.

Sugiura delivered the killing blows for the Team Japan with a bogey-free four-under-par 68 and Minato Oshima added a 71 for a 139 total, keeping their composure when the rains came late in the round and strode home to a seven-stroke victory over Singapore with a 552 total for four days in the three-to-play, two-to-count format.

Singapore put up a bold challenge in the frontside only to fade in the closing nine and settled for its best finish ever with a 143 for the day and 559 total.

It was a double heartbreak for Singapore after James Leow sent his second shot into the water and double-bogeyed the 18th and yielded the individual title to Sugiura, who birdied the last hole for a three-shot swing and a sweep of the two major awards for Japan.

Thus, Japan lifted the Nomura Cup for the third time in the last three stagings of the biennial event and joined Australia as the winningest teams with 10 championships apiece.

Korea finished third, defending champion Thailand settled for fourth this time, New Zealand finished fifth, Chinese-Taipei sixth, Malaysia, seventh, Australia eighth, Hong Kong ninth while India rounded out the top 10.

The Philippines could only land in 11th place after a 149 on the 72 and 77 of rookie internationalists Coby Rolida and Elee Bisera, respectively, for a 149 and 584 total. Kristoffer Arevalo soared to an 80 and did not count.

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