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Yuka Yasuda far too good in Japan - Becky Kay 7th

Yasuda poses with her latest trophy (Photo: R&A)
Japan’s Yuka Yasuda played the last 22 holes of the Women’s Amateur Asia Pacific Championship in a stunning 12 under par to win the increasingly coveted title by a massive eight shots at the Royal Golf Club in Ibaraki in Japan.

Yasuda's 72 hole total of 11 under par saw her finish eight shots clear of her nearest rival and defending champion, Atthaya Thitikul, of Thailand with another shot back to Ye Won Lee of South Korea.

Yasuda was the 13th highest ranked women amateur in the world ahead of this week’s event, her recent 3rd place finish at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship three week’s ago one of many fine finishes in leading world amateur events over the past 18 months or so.

The winner of the Australian Master of the Amateur Women’s event in 2018 and a runner-up finish at the Espirito Santo Championship in Ireland last year, further highlighting the classy 18 year old’s performances to date and her considerable future.

Her victory today, however, cements her as one of golf’s rising stars, recovering from a slow start to the week to produce a superb weekend performance with rounds of 67 and 65, eight shots better than any other player over the final 36 holes.

The win by Yasuda guarantees her a start at the Evian Championship and Women’s British Open Championship, two of female golf's majors in 2019, offering further opportunities to build on her growing profile and career.

“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to win the championship but so many people came out today and they cheered and motivated me and I am happy that I could play some good golf,” said Yasuda.

“This is such a huge win for me. I am trying to become a professional golfer and I am sure this is going to open many doors for me in the future.

“I get the opportunity to play two major championships with this win [the AIG Women’s British Open and the Evian Championship] and I am so excited about that. That experience will definitely help me become a better player.”

Becky Kay was the leading Australian when finishing in 7th position, a final round of 75 finishing off an event which she led after day one and was still very much in contention through 54 holes.

Becky Kay led the Australians - photo Golf Australia

Queenslander, Kay, began the final round four behind the leader Yasuda but an outward nine of 38 had her then trailing the Yasuda by ten shots which would become 14 by day’s end.

For the third day of four, Kay birdied the final hole to finish inside the top ten, a good finish but one that might have seen hope for better after her opening round of 64.

Sydney's Grace Kim moved into contention with her third round of 66 but she was unable to build on that and recorded a final round 77 to finish in a share of 12th.

Victorian Stephanie Kyriacou and NSW Doey Choi were next best of the Australians when they finished 22nd.


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