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TOJO, Hyogo Pref. (Kyodo) Makoto Inoue birdied his final hole for a 1-under-par 71 to clinch his first career title after a tense finish at the ABC Championship on Sunday.

Teeing off with a two-shot advantage, Inoue surrendered his overnight lead to Ryoken Kawagishi after a pair of bogeys from the 11th but drew level again before sinking the winning putt on the 18th to claim a one-shot victory over Kawagishi and Toru Suzuki on 15-under 273.

Inoue became the first player to win a tour event after advancing to the main competition from a “Monday Night” qualifying tournament since Australian Brian Jones did it in 1985.

Koga holds on

HANNO, Saitama Pref. (Kyodo) Miho Koga held off a late charge from Yuri Fudo and Sakura Yokomine to win her first title of the season with a two-shot victory at the Hisako Higuchi IDC Otsuka Ladies on Sunday.

Koga, who lost to Ai Miyazato by one stroke at the Master GC Ladies last week, never let go of the lead she took on opening day with her second straight 1-under 71 at Musashigaoka Golf Course while Fudo threatened with the day’s low of 66 that featured seven birdies.

Takahashi takes playoff

Katsunari Takahashi defeated Katsuyoshi Tomori and Scotland’s Bill Longmuir in a three-way playoff to win the Japan Senior Open for the second year running on Sunday.

The 54-year-old let a four-stroke overnight lead slip away after a final round of 3-over-par 75 and allowed Tomori and Longmuir to force a playoff at Ibaraki Golf Club after all three finished on 7-under 281.

But after Tomori dropped out after the second playoff hole, Takahashi birdied the third and claimed victory after Longmuir could only make par.

Takahashi, the earnings leader on the senior tour for the past four years, collected 10 million yen in prize money.

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