GOTEMBA, Shizuoka Pref. – Kiyoshi Murota suffered a bout of jitters on the back nine but still managed to comfortably defeat British Open winner Ben Curtis for the sixth victory of his career at the 150 million yen Mitsui Sumitomo Visa Taiheiyo Masters on Sunday.
Murota, who stormed into the lead after a course record 62 on Saturday, canceled out three birdies with four bogeys but was never in danger of losing his overnight lead and finished on 16-under 272, six strokes clear of Curtis, Kim Jong Duk and Hiroyuki Fujita.
The win was 48-year-old Murota’s first since last year’s Dydo-Drinco Shizuoka Open and earned him the top prize of 30 million yen.
Fujita (70) and South Korean Kim (71) were the only two golfers in the top nine to go under par in the final round while Curtis, who led after the first two rounds could only manage a birdie and two bogeys for 73.
Fudo wins playoff
CHONAN, Chiba Pref. (Kyodo) Yuri Fudo had her first over-par performance in three rounds with two birdies and four bogeys for a 2-over-par 74, but sank the third playoff hole to post victory over Junko Omote and defend her title at the Itoen Ladies on Sunday.
Fudo, who teed off with a two-stroke deficit, finished regulation tied at 3-under 213 at the Great Island Club after Omote shot the day’s low of 1-under 71.
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