CHONAN, CHIBA PREF. – Asako Fujimoto overturned a two-shot deficit to clinch her maiden victory on the JLPGA Tour at the Itoen Ladies on Sunday.
The 21-year-old reeled off seven birdies against a lone bogey on the sixth hole in a 6-under 66 at Great Island Club in Chiba Prefecture to finish one shot clear of Yukari Baba at 10-under 206.
Fujimoto moved alongside Sakura Yokomine atop the leaderboard at 10-under after birdying the par-3 17th and Yokomine’s hopes of victory were dashed when she hit her second shot into the water to the left of the 18th green and double-bogeyed to drop to 8 under.
Fujimoto closed out with a par putt on her final hole, good enough to secure the third-year pro victory and 16.2 million yen in prize money. Baba, playing in the final group, parred the 18th to finish runner-up.
“My hands were trembling when I made the last putt but I have practiced so many times from that distance and it went down for me,” said Fujimoto.
“There are only a couple of tournaments remaining this season so I am relieved to have won,” she said.
U.S. LPGA regular Momoko Ueda, who beat China’s Feng Shanshan in a playoff to win last week’s Mizuno Classic, shot a 67 and shared third with Yokomine, who had a 68.
Overnight co-leaders Mayu Hattori and Kaori Aoyama both shot 71s to finish tied in seventh at 7 under.