Singapore and Taiwan booked their tickets for the World Cup golf championship Sunday after surviving a nerve-racking finish in a 12-nation qualifier.
Singapore's Mardan Mamat and Lam Chih Bing, who had led the first three rounds, combined for a one-under-par 71 in the foursomes at Kuala Lumpur's Kota Permai Golf and Country Club.
They finish joint winners with Wang Ter-chang and Chang Tse-peng of Taiwan, who closed with an impressive 68 for a 19-under-par 269 total. The top two teams in the qualifier proceed to November's 24-nation World Cup in Portugal. Each team has two players.
Missing out were favorites Thaworn Wiratchant and Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand, and Malaysia's Danny Chia and Iain Steel. They finished one and three shots respectively behind the winners.
In the final round, Mamat and Lam got off to a blazing start with a comfortable five-shot lead at one stage. But they stumbled down the back nine with bogeys on the 10th and 17th holes and a double bogey on 12 before finally sealing their place with a composed par at the closing par five, AP reports.
Taiwan's Chang, who will make his second World Cup appearance, said he was jittery coming down the last few holes. The others teams to take part in the qualifier were the Philippines, Finland, Pakistan, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Fiji, Slovenia and Mauritius, AP reports. The first and third rounds used the fourball (best ball) format, and the second and final rounds the foursomes format (alternate shot).
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