Sport Asia
Don't Miss

Golf: Japan’s Muto ends three-year wait at ISPS Handa Global Cup

Toshinori Muto won his first Japan Tour title for three years at the ISPS Handa Global Cup. Photos: ISPS Handa Global Cup

Toshinori Muto won his first Japan Tour title for three years at the ISPS Handa Global Cup. Photos: ISPS Handa Global Cup

June 29, 2015: Toshinori Muto won his sixth Japan Tour title and denied Angelo Que his first by beating the Filipino in a playoff to win the inaugural ISPS Handa Global Cup in Hokuto on Sunday.

 

Muto (68) and Que (64) each posted a 14-under-par total of 270 at Vintage Golf Club, where Kim Hyung-sung (67) finished a shot outside the playoff. Star draw Ian Poulter (69) was among four players to finish in a share of fourth on 12-under.

 

Que, a three-time winner on the Asian Tour, set the clubhouse lead with a superb seven-under, bogey-free round of 64, with the 36-year-old snaring his seventh birdie of the day on the par-five 18th.

 

Muto, 37, was 12-under before bagging birdies on 16 and 18 to force a playoff, which he won with a birdie on the second extra hole to lift his first trophy since winning the Kansai Open in August 2012.

 

“It has been three years since I won. Before hitting the winning putt, I only thought of making it. I believed in myself and that’s why I could do it,” said Muto, who has played with Que before.

 

“Over the past three years, I got injured and I thought that I could not play golf any more at that time. I had much support from a lot of people so I am glad to win for them, too.”

 

Muto moved to eighth on the money list with ¥23,516,500 and now has ambitions of challenging the likes of Liang Wenchong of China, who leads with ¥36,473,600.

 

“I usually win in the autumn, but this year I have won early in the season so hopefully I can win one more time at some point,” Muto said.

 

“There are many international players sitting on the top of money list right now so I have to put myself in there. If possible, I would like to be the money leader. This week, I played better than Ian Poulter which gives me confidence.”

 

Angelo Que was denied his first Japan Tour title after losing to Muto in a playoff.

Angelo Que was denied his first Japan Tour title after losing to Muto in a playoff.

Que was playing his fourth Japan Tour event of the year and is set to play more after a superb final round. “Being a runner-up is still good,” said Que, sixth in last year’s Asian Tour Order of Merit.

 

“To get into the next event, I needed to finish within the top 10 so even if I lost in the playoff, which would be a worst case, I could still join the event, so I’m happy about it. I am going to keep going and maybe my luck will change.”

 

Poulter, a 12-time winner on The European Tour, was two-under for the day after 10 holes, but cut a frustrated figure after finishing with eight straight pars.

 

“It’s very disappointing. Obviously the weather was great, so it’s a shame. I should have holed a few more putts and it would be a different story. Angelo Que shot seven-under, which is a good score today, so you have to tip your hat and say ‘well played’,” said Poulter, who won on the Japan Tour in 2007.

 

“I love food and the people here, and I played well in the past, so it’s good to be able to come over again. There are always good fans wearing IJP design shirts so it is always good to see them.”

 

Ian Poulter was frustrated after failing to challenge the leaders on the final day.

Ian Poulter was frustrated after failing to challenge the leaders on the final day.

 

Source: ISPS Golf (www.ispsgolf.com); Editing by SportAsia

You must be logged in to post a comment Login