• Kyodo


Katsumune Imai birded the final hole of regulation and then beat Kazuhiko Hosokawa in a playoff to win the Coca-Cola Tokai Classic on Sunday for his second career victory.

Imai parred the first playoff hole — the par-4 18th — before Hosokawa missed his par putt as the 32-year-old claimed his first title since his victory at the Casio World Open in November last year.

They finished tied at 6-under 210 in a tournament shortened to 54 holes after torrential rain caused by a typhoon canceled Saturday’s round at Miyoshi Country Club.

Imai began the day with a three-stroke lead but dropped two shots through eight holes before bouncing back into contention in a round of 72, which featured three birdies and as many bogeys.

Kitada claims title

NIISATO, Gunma Pref. (Kyodo) Rui Kitada won her third title of the year Sunday after shooting a final-round 69 at the rain-shortened Sankyo Ladies tournament.

Kitada made four birdies, including two straight from the opening hole, against a lone bogey to claim a two-stroke victory with a 36-hole total of 4-under 140 at Akagi Country Club in Gunma Prefecture.

Kitada, whose last victory on the tour came at the NEC Karuizawa 72 in August, earned a paycheck of 8.1 million yen.

Junko Omote (69), Midori Yoneyama (70), Kasumi Fujii (71) and Mikiyo Nishizuka (70) were two strokes off the winner for a share of second at 2-under 142.

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