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Taiwan's Phoebe Yao wins AXA ladies golf tournament in Japan

2018/03/25 18:49:20

Phoebe Yao (姚宣榆)/CNA file photo

Taipei, March 25 (CNA) Taiwanese golfer Phoebe Yao (姚宣榆) outplayed Mamiko Higa of Japan in a playoff to win the AXA Ladies Golf tournament in Miyazaki Prefecture in Japan on Sunday, her second career title on the JLPGA tour.

Yao needed a birdie on the final hole of Sunday's round to finish the three-round 80 million Japanese yen (US$764,000) event at 12 under par and force a playoff with Higa.

She then scored another birdie on the third hole in the playoff, beating Higa's par to clinch the title and take home the 14.4 million yen top prize.

Yao started the final round tied for 10th, four shots behind second round leader Momoko Miura and two behind Higa. But Miura fired a 3-over 75 on Sunday while the Taiwanese shot a 6-under 66, tied for the best round of the day.

There was little to suggest Yao would do well in Miyazaki this week. She missed the cut in her first two tournaments on the Japanese tour this year and finished tied for 34th at the T-Point Ladies Golf Tournament last week.

Yao finished 34th on the JLPGA money list in 2017 with winnings of 35.2 million yen and had six top 10 finishes.

Her only other title on the JLPGA tour came at Fuji Sankei Ladies Classic in 2014.

(By Lung Po-an and Elizabeth Hsu)