New Zealand team for Nomura Cup in Hong Kong

It’s a mix of youth and experience for the New Zealand team to compete for the Nomura Cup in Hong Kong next month.

The Nomura Cup will be played at Clearwater Bay from November 5-8 and the four-man team to represent New Zealand comprises Kazuma Kobori (Rangiora), Luke Brown (The Pines, Northland), Harry Hillier (Te Puke), and Kerry Mountcastle (Masterton).

Kobori is the highest ranked Kiwi in the side as he boasts a very impressive amateur record in 2019. Kobori burst onto the scene winning the New Zealand Professional Golfers’ Association (NZPGA) Championship at Pegasus Golf Club in North Canterbury by four shots. He quickly backed that up with another outstanding performance at the New Zealand Strokeplay, in which he finished second.

Brown is a veteran of the New Zealand amateur scene. He played in the Nomura Cup two years ago when New Zealand finished fourth. Most recently, Brown has made it through second stage of Japan Tour School in his quest to transition to the professional ranks later in the year.

Hillier make his Nomura Cup debut after previously representing New Zealand at the 2017 Junior World Cup in Japan. Hillier is based in the United States as he attends college at the University of Kansas. Last year he won his first college event and began 2019 with two second-place finishes.

Mountcastle has a very impressive amateur record and, like Kobori, has a professional win to his name. Mountcastle won the Carrus Tauranga Open last year and he also won the New Zealand Strokeplay in 2018 and was a member of the Eisenhower team that finished fourth.

New Zealand Golf’s high performance manager Gregg Thorpe said: “While the team’s first priority is capturing the Nomura Cup this November, Clearwater Bay is also one of the Eisenhower Trophy venues for 2020, so this event also provides a great opportunity to gain experience at this stunning and unique golf course.”

The Nomura Cup is held once every two years and is rotated in the Asia-Pacific region. It was first held in the Philippines in 1963 and New Zealand was a winner in 1995 when the tournament was held at the Russley Golf Club in Christchurch. The New Zealand team members were Richard Best, Hadyn Morgan, Martin Pettigrew and David Somervaille.

Conducted by the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation, each team consists of four male players, contesting 18 holes of strokeplay for four days. In each round, the lowest three individual scores make up the team score for the round.

The four-day (72-hole) total is the team’s score for the championship. 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.