FUJIKAWAGUCHIKO, YAMANASHI PREF. – Kim Kyung Tae celebrated his 26th birthday in style with his first title of the season on Sunday, the South Korean rallying to beat Yuta Ikeda by one shot with an 18th-hole birdie at the Fujisankei Classic.
Kim trailed overnight leader Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand by three strokes but a second consecutive 68 that featured five birdies and a two bogeys at the par-71 Fujizakura Country Club was good enough to give him victory at 8-under 276.
Kim’s fifth title in Japan and first since last year’s Shigeo Nagashima Invitational earned him a check for ¥22 million and moved him into seventh on the money rankings.
“It’s like I have treated myself to a present. It’s perfect,” said Kim, top earner on the Japanese tour in 2010.