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Overnight co-leader David Smail held off a late charge from Toru Suzuki to capture his second title of the season after a 5-under-par 67 at the Bridgestone Open on Sunday.

News photo
David Smail holds the trophy after winning the Bridgestone Open at
Sodegaura Country Club in Chiba Prefecture.

Tied for the third-round lead with Yusaku Miyazato, New Zealander Smail pulled away with birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 at Sodegaura Country Club in Chiba and picked up another shot with a 15-foot birdie putt on the seventh to complete a bogey-free front nine.

The 35-year-old Acom International winner carried the momentum on to the back nine and added birdies on the 10th and 15th but bogeyed the 17th and saw his lead cut to one stroke after Suzuki birdied No. 18.

However, Smail held his nerve and hit an exquisite approach shot to within six feet of the pin on the 18th before rolling into the cup to seal victory at 16-under 272.

Suzuki hit the day’s low of 66 to take second place on 274 while Katsuyoshi Tomori finished third on 276 after a 69.

Creamer clinches title

MIKI, Hyogo Pref. (Kyodo) U.S. LPGA rookie Paula Creamer birdied the first extra hole to beat Chieko Amanuma in a playoff to claim her second Japan tour title at the Masters GC Ladies on Sunday.

News photoPaula Creamer celebrates after winning the Masters GC Ladies at Masters Golf Club in
Hyogo Prefecture.

Overnight leader Creamer shot an even-par 72 to finish the regulation 54 holes tied with Amanuma, who hit a final-round 70 to finish 4-under-par 212 at Masters Golf Club.

In the playoff held at the par-4 18th, both players reached the green in two shots and it came down to a putting contest in which Amanuma missed a birdie putt from about 15 feet before Creamer calmly holed an eight-footer to decide it.

“She (Amanuma) had a decent putt to make and I knew that I had to make mine, but other than that, I was so nervous I was shaking watching her,” said Creamer, who won her second title in as many Japan LPGA appearances following her victory at the NEC Karuizawa 72 in August.

Creamer pocketed prize money of 22.14 million yen in the richest tournament on the Japanese women’s tour, which boasted a purse of 123 million yen.

Naoko Takasaki was two strokes back for third place after a 72, while money rankings leader Yuri Fudo and tour rookie Shinobu Moromizato were in a six-way tie for fourth at 1-under 215.

Ai Miyazato, winner of the Japan Women’s Open, capped off a disappointing week with a 74 for a share of 14th place at 2-over 218.

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