GOTEMBA, Shizuoka Pref. – Darren Clarke made a 40-foot eagle putt on the final hole Sunday to win the Mitsui Sumitomo VISA Taiheiyo Masters for the second straight year.
The Northern Irish player made four birdies against two bogeys before his dramatic eagle on the par-5 18th gave him a final-round 68 for an 18-under 270 total on the Taiheiyo Club’s Gotemba Course, two shots clear of Mitsuhiro Tateyama.
“I tried to get as close as I could, and fortunately it went in,” Clarke said of the winning putt. “It’s the first time for me to defend a title. I’m pleased to do it here, one of my favorite golf courses. I look forward to coming back next year and trying to make it three in a row.”
The victory was the third on the Japanese Tour for Clarke, who also won the 2001 Chunichi Crowns.
Fudo surges to victory
CHONAN, Chiba Pref. (Kyodo) Yuri Fudo came from two strokes down to win the Itoen Ladies with a trademark final-round charge Sunday, claiming her sixth victory of the year and the 38th of her career.
Fudo birdied three of the first six holes and after making back-to-back bogeys from the eighth, reeled off birdies on four of the next five holes on her way to a 67 and a winning total of 7-under-par 209 at Great Island Club in Chiba Prefecture.
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