Kazuma Kobori is a rising star of New Zealand golf. Photo / Getty
Kazuma Kobori has stolen the early spotlight for New Zealand golfers in 2023 by taking out the Australian Amateur tournament at the New South Wales Golf Club.
Kobori, who has been a rising star amongst the Kiwi ranks since taking out the New Zealand PGA Championship in 2019 as a 17-year-old, fired a closing 6-under par 66 to seal the victory, the biggest of his amateur career to date.
Starting the day tied for the lead after rounds of 69, 65 and 73, Kobori shot the round of the day when it counted, landing six birdies and an eagle as part of a closing 66 which left him two shots ahead of his closest rivals Arron Edwards-Hill (England) and Taishi Moto (Japan).
“I’m stoked, actually,” he said. “We had a really good battle, Taishi and me, and Arron was putting pressure on as well. I’m stoked to get over the line.”
The 21-year-old was suitably showered with water by the other Kiwis in the field immediately after finishing with a birdie on 18 to cap the round.
“I was hoping it would happen,” he said. “But I didn’t want to get drenched! It’s alright. I appreciate them sticking there watching me on the back nine. I appreciate their support.”
One of those Kiwis was fourth-placed finisher Sam Jones who was the best of the rest from Aotearoa, ahead of Jayden Ford (14th) and Joshua Bai (30th) who also made the cut.
Kobori will no doubt be hoping his success leads to a pathway towards more international competition, similar to his elder sister, Momoka, who is headed to the Ladies European Tour this year.
Read More: Golf: Kazuma Kobori gets New Zealand off to winning start in 2023 2023-01-13 20:57:19