Ikeda holds on for first Japan Open title

Overnight leader Yuta Ikeda hung on to claim his first Japan Open title by a stroke over Shingo Katayama and Satoshi Kodaira at the Chiba Country Club in Chiba.

Ikeda held a three-stroke lead heading into a pressured final round and despite dropping strokes on the back nine, held on for an even-par final round 72 and a 10-under par total to keep Katayama (70) and Kodairi (66) at bay.

Yuta Ikeda Yuta Ikeda (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

The victory in Japan’s most prestigious event, which has been won by just two Australians (Craig Parry and Paul Sheehan) in its 40-year history, was the 28-year old’s first win for the season and 12th overall on the Japan Golf Tour.

Brad Kennedy was the leading Australian in a tie for 6th after a final round of 68 while Stephen Leaney shot 69 to tie for 25th.

World number two, Adam Scott was making a rare appearance in Japan and his first anywhere since splitting with caddie Steve Williams following the FedEx Cup Finals.

However, a third round 75 left him with too much ground to make up and despite a final round 69, he finished in a tie for 38th at four-over par.

The Japan Golf Tour remains in Chiba for the staging of the Bridgestone Open this week.