JGTO trio prevail in qualifier

Japan’s Norihiko Furusho won the Monday Qualifier with a six-under-par 64 to confirm his place in the SMBC Singapore Open, which starts Thursday.

His compatriots Ryutaro Nagano (65) and Daisuke Matsubara (66) also made it through after 68 players attempted to qualify on Sentosa Golf Club’s New Tanjong Course.

Furusho struck a formidable partnership with his brother, a member of the Sentosa Golf Club, who acted as his caddie.

The 44-year-old took advantage of his sibling’s intimate knowledge of the course and powered his way to the top by mixing his card with seven birdies, an eagle and three bogeys.

“I’m playing at the Sentosa Golf Club for the first time and it’s definitely not an easy course. So it’s very pleasing to sign for a 64. It helps that my brother is a member here and he knows this course well,” said Furusho.

The Japanese, who turned professional in 2003, is still searching for his maiden win and hopes he can find success at the SMBC Singapore Open which is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organization (JGTO).

“This is a very big event with many good players. I know the challenge will be tough but after today’s qualifying round, I’ve gained my confidence back and hopefully, I can do well,” said Furusho.

Matsubara will have another opportunity to make up for last year’s early exit as he readies himself for battle with the top players from across the globe.

Apart from the best players from the Asian Tour and JGTO, a host of other star players including defending champion Sergio Garcia from Spain, American great Davis Love III, the World Golf Hall of Famer, Englishmen Paul Casey and Matthew Fitzpatrick will also tee off at the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club.

“I’m really excited to earn my place at the SMBC Singapore Open again. This will be my second time playing in Singapore and I want to do well. I had two top-10s in Japan last year and I’m ready to put up a good show this week,” said Matsubara.

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