MIYAZAKI – Ai Suzuki became the first Japanese to top the Japan LPGA Tour’s money list in four seasons after finishing in a tie for seventh in the LPGA Tour Championship Ricoh Cup on Sunday.
Suzuki clinched her first career money title by earning ¥4.11 million ($36,854) from the Nov. 23-26 event with a 5-under 283 total. Suzuki, who went into the final round 11 shots off the lead, carded three birdies for a 3-under 69 on Sunday at Miyazaki Country Club.
Taiwan’s Teresa Lu won the tournament with a 15-under-par total of 273, while South Korean Lee Min-young finished four shots behind.
For the season as a whole, Suzuki earned ¥140.12 million ($1.25 million) in prize money, followed by Lee, who won ¥126.43 million ($1.13 million) and Lu.
The last Japanese to claim the earnings title was Rikako Morita in 2013.
“It’s finally over. I had a really rough time and even had trouble sleeping the last three days” said the 23-year-old, who won two LPGA tournaments this season. “I think I did well in the final round. I’m so glad.”