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Michael Hendry breaks through in Japan

(Photo: Bruce Young)
New Zealand's Michael Hendry has today won his first Japan Golf Tour event with a one shot victory over Kazuhiro Yamashita at the opening event of the 2015 season, the Token Homemate Cup in Nagoya.

A final nine of 31 for a round of 64 allowed the 35 year old New Zealander to come from three shots off the 54 hole pace to catch Yamashita who himself recovered from a mid round struggle to also record a final nine of 31.

Hendry, who is in his third season in Japan, has perhaps not performed quite as well to date in Japan as many felt he would in his first two seasons but importantly he retained his playing privileges and after being understandably distracted a little by the arrival of he and wife Tara's first child in 2014 he now appears back on track.

Hendry has won on the OneAsia and PGA Tour of Australasia and while victories in events such as the New Zealand PGA Championship meant a lot to him on a personal level it is perhaps this victory that will mean the most of a professional level.

The ï¿¥26,000,000 or A$280,000 represents Hendry's biggest cheque in the game, ahead of the US$180,000 he won for winning in Indonesia five years ago but to have won in Japan will assist his cause in once again climbing the world ranking, this victory moving him to 230th after slipping as low as 390th.

Yamashita was also chasing his first Japan Tour victory and while disappointed to have missed a great opportunity it was an impressive late fightback by the 42 year old Japan Tour veteran.

Third round leader Hyun Wood Ryu finished 3rd after being unable to build any momentum in his round until late in the day.

Amongst the other Australasians Brad Kennedy was 19th, Kurt Barnes 32nd, Won Joon Lee and David Smail 38th and Scott Strange 72nd.

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