• Kyodo


South Korean Chang Ik Je maintained his overnight lead to win the Mitsubishi Diamond Cup by three shots for his first victory in Japan on Sunday.

Chang, the top money earner on the South Korean circuit last year, carded three birdies against a bogey in a final-round 68 at Higashi Hirono Golf Club in Hyogo Prefecture to finish ahead of Shingo Katayama and Ryoken Kawagishi, who tied for second at 2-under-par 278.

“I kept trying to shoot for the center of the green all day because the pin positions were really difficult,” Chang said of his victory at one of the toughest layouts on the Japanese Tour.

Chang, playing his first full year in Japan, made up for his only bogey of the day at No. 4 with a birdie on the sixth and held steady the rest of his round, picking up two strokes on the back nine.

The victory at the 110 million yen event was worth 22 million yen.

Katayama shot his first sub-70 score of the week with the day’s low of 65 while Kawagishi fired a 67.

Daisuke Maruyama went around in 67 to finish alone in fourth at 279. S.K. Ho of South Korea and Tatsuhiko Takahashi had identical scores of 68 and tied for fifth at 280.

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