Date: November 14, 2011
Author: Australian Ladies Professional Golf

LPGA of Japan – FUJIMOTO RALLIES LATE FOR MAIDEN WIN

(14 November 2011 – Chonan, Chiba Prefecture, Japan)

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Japan&aposs Asako Fujimoto overturned a two-shot deficit in the final three holes to clinch her maiden victory on the JLPGA Tour at the Ito-En Ladies on Sunday. In a closely fought tournament, Yukari Baba finished outright runner-up, one shot behind, while Momoko Ueda and Sakura Yokomine were just one shot further back in a tie for third.
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rn21-year-old Fujimoto reeled off seven birdies against a lone bogey on the sixth hole in a 6-under par 66 at The Great Island Club. However, it was her final birdie that was the most telling when she moved alongside Yokomine atop the leaderboard at 10-under par after a clutch birdie putt dropped at the par-3 17th hole.
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rnFormer Money List Queen, Yokomine had led for much of the back nine but her hopes of victory were dashed when she hit her second shot into the water to the left of the 18th green and made double-bogey to drop to 8 under par.
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rnPlaying in the penultimate group together, Fujimoto stood by as she witnessed Yokomine’s disaster. She then closed out with a par putt on her final hole to hold the clubhouse lead at 10-under par. However it wasn’t over just yet with Baba still to play the last hole needing a birdie to force a playoff. She couldn’t do it and the title was Fujimoto’s first, in her third year as a professional.

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After collecting her trophy and the ¥16.2m winner’s cheque, Fujimoto said, "My hands were trembling when I made the last putt but I have practiced so many times from that distance and it went down for me."

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"There are only a couple of tournaments remaining this season so I am relieved to have won," she added.

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As for the Australians, both Nikki Campbell and Tamie Durdin did well just to make the final round after disappointing opening rounds of 76 and 77 respectively. They both played the final two rounds in a collective 3-under par for Campbell to finish in a tie for 37th and Durdin finished one shot back in a tie for 43rd.
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