• Kyodo


Tadahiro Takayama birdied the second playoff hole Sunday to beat local favorite Kiyoshi Miyazato at the Asia-Japan Okinawa Open for his second career victory.

The 27-year-old Takayama made a delicate 17-footer to seal the victory on the par-4 18th at Naha Golf Club after Miyazato parred the decisive extra hole after failing to reach the green in two shots.

Takayama and Miyazato parred the first playoff hole, also the 18th, after finishing the regulation 72 holes tied at 8-under-par 276.

Takayama shot a 70 and Miyazato had a 71 in the final round in difficult conditions on a day when only four players broke par.

“I badly wanted to win my second title. I hit the final putt thinking that it would be fine if it got close to the hole,” said Takayama, who captured his first career title at the Token Homemate Cup in March this year.

Miyazato had a solid round on a wind-swept course in front of younger sister Ai Miyazato, who missed the cut in her first appearance in a men’s event, and other member of his famous golfing family.

But he failed to pull ahead after making a bogey on the 13th and missing a makable birdie attempt on the final hole.

“It was the first playoff of my career but I wasn’t really nervous. Takayama holed that difficult winning putt and it made me feel good in a sense, though I wanted to win in my native Okinawa,” said Miyazato, whose only career title came at last year’s Asia-Japan Okinawa Open.

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