SPORTS

Ahn Sun-ju picks up first LPGA Tour victory in Japan

By 최희석
  • Published : Nov 8, 2015 - 16:39
  • Updated : Nov 8, 2015 - 16:39

Korean Ahn Sun-jun picked up her first LPGA Tour victory in Japan on Sunday.

Ahn captured the Toto Japan Classic in a three-way playoff over fellow South Korean Lee Ji-hee and Angela Stanford of the United States, taking her US$225,000 in the winner's check.

The event was co-sanctioned by the LPGA Tour and the LPGA of Japan Tour. Ahn has now won 20 times on the Japanese tour.

Ahn, Lee and Stanford ended the regulation tied at 16-under 200 at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club. Then on the first playoff hole, the par-4 18th, Ahn stuck her second shot to about 16 inches from the cup and made the birdie putt for the victory.

Ahn began the final day two shots off the lead in a tie for third, but had a bogey-free round of five-under 67 to pull into a tie.

Ahn missed a 13-foot birdie putt at the 18th in regulation that would have given her the victory, but sealed the deal on her second trip to the hole in the playoff.

The victory gave the 28-year-old full-time privileges for the LPGA Tour next season, but Ahn maintained she will stay put in Japan.

The Toto Japan Classic wrapped up the LPGA Tour's Asian swing, which also went through South Korea, China, Chinese Taipei and Malaysia.

Ahn is the eighth South Korean champion on the LPGA Tour this year and the second straight. South Koreans have combined for 14 wins in 30 LPGA events so far.

Among other Koreans, third-round leader Jenny Shin ended a shot out of the playoff at 15-under, after shooting a 70 on Sunday. Kim Hyo-joo, Shin Ji-yai and Kim Ha-neul tied for sixth at 12-under. (Yonhap)