Golf

Ai Suzuki wins 1st LPGA Tour event at Japan Classic

Overnight leader Ai Suzuki shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 on Sunday to win the Japan Classic by three strokes for her first LPGA career victory.

Japanese golfer posts 5 birdies in final round for 3-shot victory over Hyo Joo Kim

Ai Suzuki is all smiles Sunday after becoming the second straight Japanese winner of the Japan Classic following Nasa Hataoka. She finished the tourney at 17-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Hyo Joo Kim. (Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Overnight leader Ai Suzuki shot a bogey-free 5-under 67 on Sunday to win the Japan Classic by three strokes for her first LPGA career victory.

Suzuki carded her fifth birdie of the day on the par-5 18th hole at the Seta Golf Course in Shiga to finish with a 17-under 199, three shots ahead of Hyo Joo Kim (66).

"This one is special because it's a US LPGA tour event," Suzuki said through a translator. "It's beyond Japan, an International event."

Suzuki is the second straight Japanese winner of the Japan Classic following Nasa Hataoka. With the win, Suzuki, a regular on the JLPGA, becomes eligible for LPGA Tour membership.

"It was my dream so I feel like I want to challenge," Suzuki said. "But I can't speak English so I need to talk to my family because I need their support."

Minjee Lee finished in third place at 11-under 205 after shooting a 68 in the final event of the LPGA Tour's Asia Swing.

Jennifer Kupcho of the United States was tied for fourth with Jin Yang of China after a 68 left her seven strokes back.

Gaby Lopez, who started the final round in second place three strokes back, offset a pair of birdies with two bogeys for an even-par 72 that left her tied for sixth place with three others, including two-time Japan Classic winner Shanshan Feng (70).

Lexi Thompson, making her first start since the Indy Women in Tech Championship in September, was tied for 24th place after a 71.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now