I Japanese Open

Shinobu Kobayashi wins on 12 under par 150

The inaugural Japanese Open was played at the Otake course in Fukuoka from March 15/17.

Shinobu Kobayashi (Japan) scored a brilliant 48 final round to win by a single stroke from fellow Japan player Kenichi Ryu, who had led by three overnight. Shinobu Kobayashi's 54 hole aggregate was a 12 under par 150. Kenichi Ryu carded 52 on Sunday for his 151 total. Yuji Matsuda (Japan) finished third on 157 after closing with a 55.  Best overseas player was Gustavo Cortez (Chile) on 166, just ahead of Catalan Toni Yuste (167).

Ami Kumazawa (Japan) scored a level par 162 total to win the ladies Japanese Open by a shot from fellow Japanese Yuri Onishi. Mizuki Yoshioka (Japan) was third on 167.

Final leaderboard here

Japan's Kenichi Ryu maintained his grip on the lead heading into the final round. Kenichi Ryu scored a fine 49 second round to post 9 under par 99 for the opening 36 holes. That was good enough for a three stroke cushion over fellow Japanese players Yuji Matsuda and Shinobu Kobayashi. Yuji Matsuda fired a fabulous 47 on Saturday for his 102 tally while Shinobu Kobayashi added a second successive 51. Toni Yuste (Catalonia) was the best overseas player on 108. Ami Kumazawa scored a 53 second round to add to her opening 56 to take over the ladies lead on 109. Ami led by just a single stroke from compatriot Yuro Onishi while Maria Amparo Francisco (Catalonia) was on 113.

Full second round scores here. The final round will be played on Sunday. Tee times here.

Kenichi Ryu was the early leader after 18 holes. The Japanese player scored a first round of four under par 50 on the Otake course and was one stroke clear of fellow Japanese Shinobu Kobayashi. Three players were tied on 53, Kenji Haruta (Japan), Maria Amparo Francisco (Catalonia) and  Hideki Tatemiti (Japan). Maria Amparo Francisco led the ladies event by one from Yuro Onishi (Japan) and by two from fellow Catalan Conchi Carballo. 

Full first round scores here            Second Round draw here

The first round draw and tee times are here.

To celebrate JPPA joining FIPPA, an exclusive open tournament was planned for the Otake Short Course in Fukuoka. During the tournament Nippon TV (largest channel in Japan) recorded the action for a programme about Pitch and Putt.
Instead of prize money, the organization chose significantly compensate players from countries other than Japan. For an amount of around €200, - (shared room) / €230, - (single room) players had accomodation for four days. All standard meals were reimbursed and players also had access to the gala dinners. Furthermore, the entry fee was also included.


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