• Kyodo


Takayo Bando closed with a 5-under-par 67 Sunday and then saved par on the first playoff hole to claim her first Japan LPGA title in five years at the Suntory Ladies Open golf tournament.

Bando, teeing off six strokes back, carded five birdies without a bogey over the final 18 holes of regulation at Japan Memorial Golf Club to finish tied with overnight leader Hiroko Yamaguchi with an 8-under 280.

Second-year pro Yamaguchi, in the hunt for the second title of her young career, could only manage a lone birdie against two bogeys over the 6,488-yard course to finish tied with Bando.

Playing No. 18 for the first playoff hole, Yamaguchi missed a putt for par and Bando ran in a three-footer for par to win.

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