Kobayashi blazes to Asia-Pacific win


Masanori Kobayashi pulled off a memorable comeback to win his first title of the season on Sunday, turning a six-stroke deficit into a one-shot victory at the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open.

Kobayashi started the day tied for 15th but carved up Higashi Hirono Golf Club’s front nine with an eagle and five birdies, and picked up three more birdies against a lone bogey en route to a 9-under 62 and the top prize of ¥30 million.

The 36-year-old Kobayashi, whose only previous JGTO Tour win came at last year’s Hamamatsu Open, closed at 17-under 267, one shot ahead of Komei Oda, who shot a 67.

Ryo Ishikawa finished at 3 under in 36th place.