Morita comes through for third win


Rikako Morita carded six birdies and a bogey on Sunday for a final-round 67 as she came from behind to win the Suntory Ladies by one stroke.

Morita, the leading money winner this season on the Japan LPGA tour, finished with an overall total of 10-under-par 278 for her third victory of the season. It was the fifth of her career and earned her an ¥18 million payday. It was Morita’s second stirring comeback in eight days, following a final-round 65 the week before when she was runnerup at the Yonex Ladies.

One stroke back, teenager Mamiko Higa, who has two wins so far in her rookie season, tied for second with 23-year-old overnight leader Kumiko Kaneda and Yumiko Yoshida one stroke back.

Tour legend Yuri Fudo and Ritsuko Ryu were another stroke further back in a tie for fifth, while South Korea’s Esther Lee, who shared the overnight lead with Kaneda, shot a 1-over-par 73 to finish in a tie for seventh.