Cagayan de Oro City’s Jacob “Coby” Rolida has made it as one of the three members to the Philippine Team to the Nomura Cup which will be hosted by the country at the Manila Southwoods Golf and Country Club in Carmona, Cavite on November 14 to 18.
Kristoffer Arevalo emerged as the top qualifier in the five-day Nomura Cup qualifying tournament, with Elee Bisera and Rolida earning the other slots in the qualifier staged by the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP).
Despite a triple bogey-double bogey on the 10th and 11th holes, Arevalo still managed a final round one-under 71-his fourth sub-par score in the five day tournament, for the runaway win by six strokes and 356 aggregate.
Arevalo saw action as the captain of the national team to the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam earlier this year. He is a member of the three-peat and four-peat PAL Interclub champion teams of Southwoods, where he played alongside now PGA Tour star Tom Kim, and Japan Tour rookie standout Yuto Katsuragawa.
Bisera and Rolida both finished with even-par 72s on closing last-hole birdies to finish 362 and 365, to finish second and third, respectively, and suit up for the national team for the first time.
Rolida had a good showing, seizing the lead after the second round with birdies on three of his last four holes to salvage an even-par 72, to cap a roller-coaster trip that saw him squander an early eagle on the fourth hole, and struggle with a three over card after the 14th.
Coby became enamored with golf when his family was still residing in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, where he finished his grade school at the Del Monte School and trained at the famed Del Monte Golf Course and Country Club.
“He started playing golf at the age of 4 and he trained in Del Monte Golf Course in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon as a junior golfer,” his mom Yvonne recalls. “But when we transferred to Cagayan de Oro for his High School in 2013, he started his training in Pueblo de Oro golf course which is home course up to now.”
Coby is a member of the Pueblo de Oro Golf and Country Club of Cagayan de Oro based at the world class Robert Trent Jones III designed course in Uptown, Cagayan de Oro where he trains whenever he’s in town.
“Congratulations to Coby Rolida for making it to the Philippine Team for the Nomura Cup!” said Engr. Chrysler B. Acebu, Pueblo de Oro Golf & Country Club President. “He makes us proud to have produced a world-class golfer!”
When Coby transferred to Ateneo de Manila University for his senior high school, he joined the Ateneo Golf Varsity which opened up opportunities for him to compete in international junior tournaments like the Boys 15-18 category as part of the Philippine Contingent to the 2019 IMG Junior World Golf Championship in San Diego, California in July 2019; the Asia Grand Final of the 13th Faldo Series held at the Laguna Lang Co Golf Course in Da Nang, Vietnam in March 2019 which brought together over 90 of Asia’s leading young golfers, plus winners from the 2018 Europe Grand Final for a total of 108 individual entries; and the recent Singapore Open.
Now 21, Coby is the current captain of the Ateneo Golf Team.
“Most of his childhood was spent on the golf course,” his mom added. “He just loves playing golf so much that I think that made him so determined in practicing and joining tournaments. He is also a very positive person when it comes to golf. If ever he has a bad score on this hole, he would always think there are still a lot of holes left for him to recover.”
The Nomura Cup Challenge
The Nomura Cup, also known as the Asia-Pacific Amateur Golf Team Championship, is a biennial amateur team golf championship for men organized by the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation. The inaugural event was held in 1963 and has been played in odd-numbered years since.
Teams used to consist of four players, but from 2022 the playing members have been reduced to three. The tournament is held over 4 days with 18 holes of stroke play on each day, the best two rounds counting for the team score.
Previously, only the Philippines, Japan and Chinese Taipei competed. By the eighth championship in 1977 held in Malaysia, a then record of 10 nations were competing. Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea were invited beginning with the 1979 tournament.
The tournament has been dominated by Australia, who have won the Cup 10 times, and Japan, seven-time winners. Only Australia, Japan and Chinese Taipei have won multiple times. South Korea, New Zealand and India have won as hosts. Thailand took an early lead at the 2017 tournament and managed to secure a maiden win. The 2019 edition scheduled for Hong Kong was postponed due to security concerns.
Despite being a founding member, the Philippines has never won the Nomura Cup, with two second place finishes being its best. Wack hosted the first edition in 1963 before doing it again in 1971, when the Philippines had its second runner-up finish, and in 1991.
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. This event also has an individual champion.