Ishikawa edges Jones in Hokkaido

Japan's Ryo Ishikawa further enhanced his already significant reputation when he holed an 8 foot birdie putt at the 72nd hole to defeat Australia's Brendan Jones by one shot to win the Sun Chlorella event in Hokkaido. Just 17 years of age, it was Ishikawa's fourth victory on the Japan Golf Tour and his second in his last four starts in his homeland.

In five starts internationally in 2009, Ishikawa has missed four cuts and had a best finish of 71st but at home he has almost single-handedly turned the fortunes of the Japan Golf Tour around, doubling the size of tournament crowds and raising the profile of tournament golf to a new level in the past two years.

Currently 85th in the World Golf Ranking, the win is sure to boost that ranking substantially and continue the teenager's dramatic rise in world golf since turning professional twenty months ago.

The victory takes Ishikawa to the top of the Japan Golf Tour's money list with just over ¥61 million. He now has an ¥11 million lead over Yuta Ikeda who finished alone in third position today. Jones' runner up finish today earned him ¥15 million (A$191,000) and moved him into third position with just over ¥47 million (A$599,000).

Jones trailed Ishikawa by three leading into the final day but by the turn had drawn within one of the teenager. The pair separated themselves from the field over the closing nine holes, a battle royal developing between the two over the final few holes. Jones fine last round of 65 was not quite enough to catch the winner.

Shingo Katayama, Taigen Tsumugari and Kazuhiro Yamashita tied for 4th position. Ikeda has moved into second position on the money list.

The other Australasians making the cut were David Smail 39th, Steve Jeffress 50th and Steve Conran and Craig Parry 58th.

The Japan Golf Tour now takes a two week break before the Kansai Open beginning on August 20th.

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