Australia takes early lead, darkhorse PH six down | Inquirer Sports
NOMURA CUP

Australia takes early lead, darkhorse PH six down

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 04:15 AM November 16, 2022
Kristoffer Arevalo: Six birdies, four bogeys —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Kristoffer Arevalo: Six birdies, four bogeys —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CARMONA, CAVITE—Powerhouse Australia flexed its muscles, defending champion Thailand was saved by its young spearhead, Singapore made its intentions known and darkhorse Philippines held its own after the first round of the 29th Nomura Cup that saw nine countries break par to make it interesting for the rest of the week.

Jack Buchanan returned one of three six-under-par 66s and Quinnton Croker fired a 69, and the Aussies were so prolific that they had to throw away a 70 from Jimmy Hydes for a 135 and a two-shot lead over Singapore, which was powered by a reedy Arizona State University alum, James Leow, who also shot a 66.

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Kristoffer Arevalo drained five birdies coming out to fire a 70 and Cody Rolida backed him up with a solid 71 as the young Filipinos will open the second round Wednesday just six shots behind, with Arevalo not sounding worried at all despite a number of sterling individual scores on a humid day at Manila Southwoods’ Masters layout.

“There’s still a lot of golf left, a lot more holes to play,” said Arevalo, who had six birdies only to bogey four straight holes from the 13th because of bad putting. “We’re in a good position and we will keep on attacking.”

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Rolida, a the 21-year-old national team rookie, rebounded with three of his four birdies in the back nine to rescue a 38-33. Elee Bisera, another rookie, did not count with a 72.

While it was no surprise that Australia was at the top or near it, Singapore made a lot of heads turn after Leow had seven birdies against a bogey that had the Singaporeans breathing down the necks of the Aussies.

“We just want to beat ourselves,” the 25-year-old Leow, whose only bogey came on the opening hole, said.

Chinese Taipei and Japan were three shots behind.

Thailand lay another shot back thanks to a 66 by the seasoned Arsit Areephun, who gunned down eight birdies in a 33-33 effort that cushioned the impact of mediocre rounds turned in by Ashita Piamkulvanich (73) and Pongsapak Laopakdee (75). INQ

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