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Bae wins Japan Open after playoff

Kyodo

South Korea’s Bae Sang Moon captured his first major title on the JGTO Tour with a par on the first playoff hole against Kenichi Kuboya at the Japan Open on Sunday.

Bae managed a two-putt par on the first extra hole, the 488-yard, par-4 18th, while Kuboya failed to reach the green in regulation and missed a par-saving putt at Takanodai Country Club.

His third victory in Japan was worth ¥40 million, boosting Bae’s season earnings to ¥127 million, about ¥50 million more than second-place Ryo Ishikawa on the money list.

“This is a big tournament, and I felt enormous pressure during the playoff,” the 25-year-old Bae said.

“On the playoff hole, I was able to hit a fine tee shot and go on to make an easy par. To win the money title is definitely one of my goals, but there are so many good players on the tour, so I don’t know if I can win it in the end.”