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Gemma Dryburgh Wins First LPGA Tour Title at TOTO Japan Classic | LPGA

After 72 holes in Shiga, Japan, Scotland’s own Gemma Dryburgh flourished at the Seta Golf Course, posting 65 consecutive seconds to win her first LPGA Tour title at the TOTO Japan Classic, finishing at -20 overall. Dryburgh becomes the 11th Rolex First-Time Winner of the season, tying the Tour record for most Rolex First-Time Winners in a single year, which last took place in 1995. His 268 is a new best result of 72. career holes, breaking his previous record, a 276 from the 2019 Pure Silk Championship.

“I was in Korea last week with friends and I told them ‘I mention you in my speech’ as ​​a joke. But it’s impressive to be honest,” said Dryburgh, who becomes the fourth Scotsman to win on the Tour and the first since Catriona Matthew at the 2011 Lorena Ochoa Invitational. “It’s been a dream of mine for a long time. A lot of hard work has gone into it, so it means a lot.”

Starting the final day one stroke behind 54-hole leader Momoko Ueda, Gemma scored her first birdie of the day after making a 20-foot putt at No. 4, and added his second at No. green. She took the lead into the corner after Ueda bogeyed at No. 9, but the real differentiator came at No. 11, when Ueda double bogeyed Dryburgh’s birdie after an impressive display with his 4-4-foot hybrid.

“This is sort of a turning point in the round, I would say. I had a really good shot yesterday and I hit the same club today so I was confident I could do it again,” Dryburgh said. “But yeah, I had an amazing photo there and it was a good birdie on that one. It was very difficult”.

It went to racing after 11, with Dryburgh carding four more birdies on his last six holes, including the last one for a bogey-free day, the best way to cap off an amazing week. “The vibes are so good,” said Dryburgh, who first joined the Tour in 2018. “I’m enjoying it, to be honest.”

JLPGA winner Kana Nagai scored a 7-under 65, scoring eight birdies for a bogey in her fourth appearance at the co-sanctioned event and finished in second place solo, a career-best result in five games on the LPGA Tour. “As many Japanese played well in the first 3 days, I tried to play in that climate. But, the LPGA players finally showed up on Sunday,” said Nagai, who was one of seven Japanese players out of nine in total tied for eighth and best. “I am really impressed that the LPGA players played well even on the golf course, which they are not used to.”

Linn Grant had a run on the final day, with four birdies on his opening nine holes, but two bogeys derailed his chances of winning. She took third place after a fourth round of 67, a new career best Tour result for the 2022 rookie. my best as much as I could,” Grant said. “I had a good game, some putts, it was fun.”

Yuna Nishimura finished -13 in solo fourth, while LPGA Tour winner Ayaka Furue, four-time JLPGA winner Miyu Yamashita and Ueda tied for fifth at -12. Minami Katsu and Yuri Yoshida finished in eighth place at -11, with four players completing the top 10 in a tie at -10, including No. 1 Rolex ranked Atthaya Thitikul. Thitikul bounced back after a Saturday of 73 with a 5-under 67 to earn his 15th top 10 finish of the 2022 season.

“I always like to come to Japan. It has a lot of memories,” Thitikul said. “And I have the world number 1 here now, my caddy wearing the green bib and the ceremony on the first tee in the first round, so those are good memories for us.”

Co-sanctioned defending champion Ai Suzuki tied for 28th after finishing the tournament with a 3-over 75 and -6 overall.

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