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Local favorite Shingo Katayama fired four straight birdies starting from the ninth hole for a 68 as he came from behind to attain a one-stroke victory at the Japan PGA Championship in Ibaraki Prefecture on Sunday.

It was the 30-year-old Ibaraki native’s first victory in the current season and his 13th overall title in his nine-year pro career.

Katayama, who lost in a playoff in last year’s event, ended the four-day event at 17-under 271.

Hur Suk Ho of South Korea, second overnight up along with Katayama, scattered three birdies on the back nine over the 7,010-yard Miho Golf Club course and finished alone in second place at 272.

Tsukasa Watanabe birdied the final three holes en route to a 68 and ended a further stroke back at 273.

Ku’s late charge wins it

AMAGI, Fukuoka Pref. (Kyodo) Veteran Ku Ok Hee of South Korea shot the day’s best score of a 4-under-par 68 on Sunday as she came from behind to clinch a two-stroke victory at the Vernal Ladies golf tournament.

It was the 46-year-old Ku’s first victory since winning the Japan PGA Championship last September and her 23rd overall title. She pocketed the winner’s take of 18 million yen out of the total prize money of 100 million yen.

Compatriot Koo Woo Soon finished second at 212 after carding a bogey-free 70.

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