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Shigenaga tops Ishikawa in Japan Tour opener

David Bransdon finished as the leading Australian (Photo: Henry Peters )
29-year old Atomu Shigenaga has won the Japan Golf Tour’s opening event of their domestic season with a narrow one shot victory over one of the iconic figures of Japanese golf Ryo Ishikawa.

Shigenaga began the final round with a four-shot lead after his brilliant round of 63 on Saturday and with a birdie at his opening hole today his first victory on the Japan Golf Tour looked even more secure, especially when his closest rivals Ishikawa and Shingo Katayama were unable to respond.

By the turn however things took a dramatic turn when the leader dropped four shots between the 6th and 9th holes and the difference between he and Ishikawa was just one.

Ishikawa appeared to have lost his chance when he bogeyed the 14th but bounced back with birdies at the 16th and 17th and on the 18th tee the difference was still just one. Both players parred the last and Shigenaga’s first Japan Golf Tour victory in more than six years of trying was his.

South Korean Kyung Tae Kim, a 13-time winner on the Japan Tour, finished 3rd in his very first tournament of the year suggesting yet another good season in Japan is ahead of him.

Of the eleven Australasians who started the event, David Bransdon, in his second season on the Japan Golf Tour, did best when he finished tied for 14th.

Matthew Griffin was 23rd, Brendan Jones 31st, New Zealander Michael Hendry was 39th, Anthony Quayle was 56th and Won Joon Lee 61st.

The Japan Tour will now move to Osaka for the Panasonic Open before returning to Nagoya for the Crowns Tournament.

SWING LIKE RICKIE FOWLER

 

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