The winner Chan Kim – courtesy of Asian Tour – file photo
American Chan Kim has today won his fourth Japan Golf Tour title but his most significant with a one-shot victory at the Japan Open at the Koga Golf Club in Fukuoka.
Kim came from eight shots off the 54-hole pace to record a final round of 67 and despite preparing for a potential playoff after finishing his round he would win by one.
The story of the day, however, was the almost incomprehensible demise of the seemingly unassailable leader, Koki Shiomi, who found a away to drop nine shots at his last five holes to finish four shots from the lead and in a share of 10th place.
29-year old Kim finished one shot ahead of Japan’s Horikawa and South African Shaun Norris.
Kim’s last round 67 over the demanding layout saw him move from 17th heading into the final round to sweep to the narrow win but he was helped in his cause by Japan’s Mikumu Horikawa who dropped shots at his final two holes to finish one behind.
The Australians challenge was headed by Brad Kennedy, Adam Scott and Brendan Jones who tied for 5th place just three shots from the winner.
Scott recovered from a horror opening round of 76 to work his way back into the event, his final round of 69 completing an impressive comeback.
Jones had his chances to win his first Japan Open title but bogeys at two of his last three holes cost him badly.
For Kennedy it was his best finish in the Japan Open, bettering his tie for 6th in 2014.
The Japan Tour now plays the Zozo Championship in Chiba although only a few in this field will get the play the tournament which is essentially a PGA Tour event.