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Kim claims maiden victory in Japan

Kyodo

South Korean Kim Hyung Sung held on to his overnight lead to win his first career title on the Japan tour with a victory at the VANA H Cup Augusta on Sunday.

The 32-year-old Kim, who had a one-stroke lead after the third round, fired a 3-under-par 69 on the final day to finish at 18-under 270, one shot ahead of Akio Sadakata who also shot 69 at at Keya Golf Club.

Kim, who made four birdies against a lone bogey, won three titles on the Korean tour before he joined the JGTO in 2009.

“This feels incredible! Really!” said Kim, who saved par in his last nine holes. “I’d had pain in my left shoulder for three years from the time I came on tour. But this year, I have been able to swing without any stress. My distance is about 20 yards farther than before.”

Kazuhiko Hosokawa was two strokes behind Kim to place alone in third after a final-round 68.

Ryutaro Nagano shared fourth with Australian Kurt Barnes at 14 under, while Yoshinori Fujimoto was back in 22nd place.