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Hwang romps to first title in Japan

FUKUROI, Shizuoka Pref. (Kyodo) Overnight leader Hwang Ah Reum of South Korea coasted to her first title on the Japanese LPGA tour Sunday with an emphatic victory at the Yamaha Ladies Open.

Hwang fired seven birdies at Katsuragi Golf Club in a flawless final round of 65 to finish on 11-under 205, eight shots clear of compatriot Lee Ji Woo, Erina Hara and Taiwan’s Julie Lu.

Teeing off with a one-stroke advantage, Hwang hit her stride on their fourth hole, reeling off four birdies through a five-hole stretch before picking up further shots on Nos. 11, 15 and 18 to ease to victory.

“Getting my first title was my objective for the season but it has come much quicker than I expected,” said Hwang.

“But I am happier at recording my personal best score than winning today. I didn’t notice until I wrote it down on my scorecard, I was just thinking about picking one more birdie after another.”