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Ishikawa ends two-year win drought at Taiheiyo Masters

Kyodo

Ryo Ishikawa became the youngest player to register 10 victories on the JGTO tour on Sunday, when he won the Taiheiyo Masters.

Ishikawa, who is 21 years, 1 month, fired a 4-under-par 68 for a winning total of 15-under 273. It was his first victory since he won this event in 2010.

Ishikawa began the final round at the par-72 Taiheiyo Club in Shizuoka Prefecture with a one-stroke lead, the first time in over two years that he entered the final day alone at the top of the leaderboard. Ishikawa recorded seven birdies, but bogeyed three of the final six holes for a 4-under-par 68.

Michio Matsumura, who started the day a stroke back of Ishikawa and played in the same group, had four birdies and a lone bogey to match Ishikawa, and birdied his last two holes to pull even in steady rain. However, Ishikawa only needed a short birdie putt to clinch it and did so to end two years of frustration.

“It’s strange but I forgot how it felt to taste victory,” Ishikawa said. “I’m happy but it doesn’t feel real.”

“It was like I was a different person for two years. As a new Ryo Ishikawa, I want to do my best from this point on,” he said.

Ishikawa eclipsed the marks of Masashi “Jumbo” Ozaki, who achieved the feat when the tour was established in 1973 at the age of 27 years, 8 months, and Yuta Ikeda who did so at 26 years, 9 months.