Thai pride at Sungai Long

Thailand's Kosuke Hamamoto, Atiruj Winaicharoenchai, Kammalas Namuangruk and Sadom Kaewkanjana with the Nomura Cup ©Mike Casper|The ClubHouse

Kajang [SELANGOR]: Thailand registered a historic victory at the 28th Asia-Pacific Amateur Golf Team Championship, lifting the prestigious Nomura Cup for the first timeย  on Sunday.

The quartet of Kammalas Namuangruk, Sadom Kaewkanja, Atiruj Winaicharoenchai and Kosuke Hamamoto were on fire as they strolled to a sensational 12-stroke victory over past champions Japan.

Their stunning four-day total of 56-under-par 808 at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Sungai Long Golf & Country Club was the lowest-ever team score recorded in the 54-year history of the biennial meet.

Rounds of 64, 72, 64 and 70 saw Kammalas taking medalist honors with a 19-under-par overall, one clear of Japanโ€™s Kazuya Osawa.

Leading final results (Par-72)
808 – ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ Thailand 204-199-201-204
820 – ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan 209-204-202-205
825 – ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia 211-202-209-203
832 – ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand 204-211-211-206
840 – ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท Republic of Korea 207-205-209-219
841 – ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ Chinese Taipei 206-208-212-215
842 – ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China 213-208-215-206
847 – ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Indonesia 210-206-219-212, ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Hong Kong 218-215-208-206, ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India 215-209-213-210
848 – ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Singapore 214-212-212-210
855 – ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ MALAYSIA 211-216-210-218
855 – ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ Philippines 213-212-216-223
891 – ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ Pakistan 226-223-227-215, ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 216-223-228-224
927 – ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡บ Guam 238-231-231-227
928 – ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฏ Fiji 236-231-229-232
940 – ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต Nepal 234-239-231-236
953 – ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช United Arab Emirates 244-234-238-237
958 – ๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Qatar 244-241-235-238
978 – ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ญ Bahrain 247-245-244-242
1020- ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ณ Mongolia 254-255-254-257
1072- ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Kyrgyzstan 273-262-275-262

South East Asia (SEA) Games gold medalist Hamamoto, who was speaking on behalf of the team, shared that the win was a real achievement, noting that great Thai teams in the past have come close but fell short.

“Feels great and we’re truly honoured to be the first Thai team to win this prestigious championship. It’s a massive win for our country and truth be told, this event was a big target for us this year. We worked hard towards achieving that goal and I’m proud that we got the job done,” said the 19-year-old Chiang Mai native.

“We knew that the Australians and Japanese were favourites coming into the week but I think the flunctuating [weather] conditions worked in our favour.ย ย The course wasn’t that long and we’re all pretty consistent iron players and good putters, so it worked to our advantage.

“More importantly, each day, one or two of the guys went really low to keep us up there, which is how a good team should work. We have been together since the start of the year and the chemistry is great. Credit to Kammalas, who led the team superbly this week from the word go,” he added.

Muhd Afif Mohd Fathi ยฉMike Casper|The ClubHouse

Malaysia’s hopes of retaining their top-ten finish from two years ago came to nought as the team of Muhd Afif Mohd Fathi, Muhd Afif Mohd Razif, Rhaasrikanesh Kanavathi and Chan Tuck Soon slipped up in the final round.

The hosts had to settle for 12th placing with a four-day total of nine-under-par 855, thanks largely toย  an impressive Muhd Afif Mohd Fathi, who added a closing effort of one-under 71 to finish joint fifth in the individual standings on 14-under-par.

The 17-year-old was cruising to another a good round but dropped shots on the closing stretch put a slight dent on what was otherwise, a coming-of-age display.

“To finish top-five in such an elite tournament, on my senior debut for the national team – that’s stuff of dreams. I’m surprised but very happy with my performance. The confidence I gained this week, it’s going to help me on my golfing journey,” he noted.

How the ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ Malaysians finished
274 – Muhd Afif Mohd Fathi 68-71-64-71 [T5]
289 – Muhd Afif Mohd Razif 70-75-72-72 [T40]
295 – Rhaasrikanesh Kanavathi 73-72-74-76 [T49]
296 – Chan Tuck Soon 74-73-74-75 [T51]

A total of 23 member countries of the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation participated in the event, which will head to Hong Kong in 2019.