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Golf: Korea’s Ahn Sun-ju wins maiden LPGA title in Japan

Ahn Sun-ju won the Toto Japan Classic. Photo: LPGA.

Ahn Sun-ju won the Toto Japan Classic. Photo: LPGA.

November 8, 2015: JLPGA and KLPGA member Sun-Ju Ahn stuffed her six-iron from 165 yards on the first playoff hole to five feet and calmly sank the birdie putt to claim her first LPGA victory at the Toto Japan Classic.

 

“I’m very happy,” Ahn said. “I didn’t think that I’d be able to win the tournament, but it’s a nice surprise and I’m very happy.”

 

Ahn, Angela Stanford and Lee Ji-hee all finished regulation at 16-under par and went back to the par-four 18th to decide the winner.

 

In the playoff, all three hit the green where Lee left a 50-footer short and Stanford’s 33-footer narrowly missed, setting up Ahn for the victory.

 

“About halfway I thought it might have a chance, but it broke more than I thought it would,” Stanford explained. “Sun-ju hit a really good shot in there. If you stick it on 18, with this hole, you deserve birdie and you deserve to win.”

 

Ahn, who now has 27 victories worldwide (1 LPGA, 19 JLPGA and 7 KLPGA), will now have an opportunity take up LPGA membership for the 2016 season through Category 7, non-member win. Ahn is also eligible to compete in the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

 

“I haven’t thought much about that yet,” Ahn admitted. “I’m just going to enjoy this win and this moment.”

 

Jenny Shin, the leader going into the final round, finished a shot out of the playoff in solo fourth place, while Ariya Jutanugarn was fifth after shooting the round of the tournament, an eight-under 64.

 

Source: LPGA (www.lpga.com); Editing by SportAsia

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