CHIANG RAI – The New Zealand golfers have got off to a steady start to the 26th, Australia finished Round 1 six strokes off the pace in a tie for fifth place after the opening round of the Nomura Cup at Santiburi Country Club in Chiang Rai Thailand.
New Zealand golfers Joshua Munn and Vaughan McCall led the way for the New Zealand team with rounds of three-under par 69 and Cameron Jones added the third counting score with a two-over par 74.
Poom Saksansin, Natipong Srithong, Nattawat Suvajanakorn and Danthai Boonma had a total of nine-under-par 207 with only three best scores counted.
China, led by Guan Tianlang, took the lead on 205, one shot ahead of Japan. South Korea, who won the tournament in 2009, were fourth on 208.
Poom was Thailand’s best scorer with a 67, one shot behind individual leader Aaron Wilkin of Australia.
The 20-year-old Thai said he was surprised by his four-under on the front nine but he could have done better on the back nine.
Danthai and Natipong each posted a 70 while Nattawat suffered a 75.
Dou Zecheng hit a 67 while Guan made a 68 for China who are looking for their first win at the tournament known officially as the Asia-Pacific Amateur Golf Team Championship.
“I can do better in the next rounds,” said Guan who became the youngest-ever player to make the cut at the Masters this year.
China coach Zhang Jie said that his players were nervous but still managed to get a good result.
“It’s a good start for us as we practised here only 18 holes,” Zhang said.
In the individual category, Wilkin took a one-shot lead ahead of Poom, Dou and Daichi Sato of Japan.
Defending champions Australia, who won by an incredible 21 shots in 2011, is in a share of fifth place with Indonesia on a five-under par total.
The Chinese team leads the championship on 205 with the Japanese team and hosts Thailand one and two strokes behind respectively.
Round One Results:
211 Australia, Indonesia
212 New Zealand
216 Hong Kong, Singapore
217 Chinese Taipei
230 Bahrain, Guam, Vietnam
242 United Arab Emirates
The winning team receives the Nomura Cup, which was named after Shun Nomura, the former Vice-President of the Japan Golf Association who donated the Cup.