Saitama, Tokyo: Yuta Ikeda won his 20th career title in imperious fashion after shooting a final round three-under-par 68 at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup.
The 32-year-old Japanese romped to a six-shot victory, ending his campaign on 15-under-par 269 at the ¥150 million (about US$1.35 million) event sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation.
In-form Justin Harding of South Africa, who claimed two titles in his first two starts on the Asian Tour in 2018, registered a 66 to finish in second place at the Musashi Country Club’s Sasai Course.
Ikeda, who held a one-shot overnight lead, bogeyed the first hole but steadied the ship with birdies on holes two, four and six. As his closest challengers faded, Ikeda marked his card with another birdie on 15 to cruise to a comfortable victory.
Ranked 98th on the Official World Golf Ranking, Ikeda secured his first title in 2018 to continue an impressive record that has seen him post a win every season since 2009.
Ikeda is the eighth player to win 20 titles in Japan alongside Graham Marsh, Toru Nakamura and Toru Taniguchi. Masashi ‘Jumbo’ Ozaki holds the record of most wins in Japan with 94 titles.
The 32-year-old Harding produced the round of the day but it was not enough to challenge Ikeda. Despite settling for second place, he moved to eighth position on the Habitat for Humanity Standings.
Tokyo, Japan: The Professional Golfers’ Association of Japan, one of Asia’s eldest and most respected sporting organisations, has joined the Asian Golf Industry Federation.