Return to Basics Pays Off for Kataoka

Daisuke Kataoka dazzled at the Diamond Cup.

Chiba Prefecture, Japan: Daisuke Kataoka birdied three of his last five holes for a closing one-under-par 70 to win his first Asian Tour title by two shots at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup.
Kataoka, who started the round one shot back, held his nerve to defeat his playing partners and overnight leaders Poom Sakansin of Thailand and fellow-Japanese Tadahiro Takayama with a winning total of 12-under-par 272 at the Caledonian Golf Club.
Poom moved four clear after sinking two birdies in his opening eight holes but a triple-bogey seven on the ninth saw his lead reduced to one. The 24-year-old Thai slipped further with bogeys on 12 and 15 but gained a shot back on 17 to sign for an eventual 73.
Poom settled for a share of second place with Takayama, who also returned with a 73 after marking his card with three birdies against five bogeys, at the ¥‎150 million (about US$1.37 million) event.
Koreans KT Kim and Song Young-han and Japan’s Shugo Imahira shared fourth place on 275 following respective rounds of 66, 68 and 70 at the event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO).
“I wanted to make a birdie on the last for a good fist pose but ended up making a good par with the pose,” said Kataoka. “I have been struggling with my game. I wasn’t making scores so I was frustrated.
“I reviewed my swing with my coach on Tuesday. It was back to basic for me. I was not sure even until the last moment if I can stick to my basics. I had some bad shots and some good shots. I was just able to take advantage of the few chances I had today.
“I didn’t think I had a chance to win until Poom made the triple-bogey. The chances came for all of us. It’s easy to make bogey out there if you hit it to the wrong positions, even on the fairways.
“I had a training camp here after I turned professional, from when I was 21 to 25. Those years, I had at least one month of training here every year so I am familiar with the greens. I knew where to hit it to according to the pin positions. That was my advantage this week.
“I am happy to get exemptions on both the Asian Tour and the JGTO with this win.”

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