PLAYBACK The 28th Japan Senior Open Golf Championship PLAYBACK The 28th Japan Senior Open Golf Championship

Prayad Marksaeng became the third player in the championship’s history to win three consecutive titles

It was a convincing victory in a tough field in a major championship setting.

The 28th Japan Senior Open Golf Championship, the first major in Hokkaido, was held at the Nidom Classic Nispa Course from July 12 (Thu.) to 15 (Sun.), 2018.
Surrounded by forestland and clear streams, this course arranged to take advantage of the natural terrain is beautiful yet challenging.

It was Prayad Marksaeng (from Thailand) who took center stage in the major tournament, in a field full of top players.
With a five-shot victory, he achieved his third consecutive win.

Twelve players
are in close contention.
It was the beginning of a
tough tournament.

The first round began with the participation of 112 professionals and 14 amateurs.
Players suffered from the Western grass unique to Nidom and the deep, moist rough, but Gregory Meyer and Ikuo Shirahama, who finished one under par, ended the day tied for first place.
One stroke back in a tie for second were seven players, including Toshimitsu Izawa, a “rookie” participating in this championship for the first time, Tsukasa Watanabe, the champion in 2009, and Ryoken Kawagishi, who was hoping to win his first national open championship. A further shot back at one over par, were three players tied for 10th place, including Toru Taniguchi, who won the 2018 Japan PGA Championship but who was also a “rookie” in this event. The tournament opened with twelve players in the leading group in which second runners-up were two strokes behind the leaders. After day one, 12 players were in close contention.

With the day’s best score, a four-under-par 66, Toru Taniguchi moves into lead.

The day’s round started in a mist.
Toru Taniguchi, who looked to add the title to his Japan PGA Championship earlier in the season, carded the best score.
Taniguchi, who started from the 10th hole, double bogeyed the 12th after hitting his second shot into the water, but made a birdie on the 13th hole and carded consecutive birdies from the 15th hole.

Taniguchi, who made four birdies on the back nine, finished with a 66, moving into the sole lead after starting tied for 10th.
Akira Teranishi ended the day second, one stroke behind Taniguchi.
Jong-Duck Kim was third on two under par, and Ryoken Kawagishi was fourth on one under.

Four players, including Taniguchi and Kawagishi, end the day tied for second place, three strokes behind Marksaeng.

When the third round began, Toru Taniguchi was alone at the top.
He and Akira Teranishi, who was a stroke behind in second, both started the day with a birdie.
However, Taniguchi shot a bogey on the second hole, and dropped more shots on the fourth and sixth.

Teranishi played the first nine to par.
Then things began to get complicated.
Kawagishi struggled off the tee all day, but managed to finish with a 71 on the back of a strong short game. He still had a chance of winning.
While the top group was struggling, Prayad Marksaeng, who started in fifth place, four strokes behind the leader, ended with a 67.
He moved into the sole lead on a total of four under par, three shots clear of the chasing packs, and was closing in on winning his third consecutive championship.

The last day of the major in rain.
Marksaeng runs alone.

On the last day in rain, Prayad Marksaeng, who started alone at the top at four under par, three strokes ahead of the chasing pack, increased his lead by two on the front nine, leaving the rest far behind.
Although dropped a shot on the inward nine, where he had one birdie and two bogeys, he played a safe game and finished with a 70.
He finished with a total of five under par and became the third player in the championship’s history to win three consecutive titles.
Toru Taniguchi was second, five strokes behind the leader, while Tsuyoshi Yoneyama, Akira Teranishi and Jong-Duck Kim shared third place on one over. Toshimitsu Izawa, who participated in the championship for the first time along with Taniguchi, finished tied 16th on eight over. The top-placed amateur, Takashi Kamei, who finished tied 61st at 29 over par, won the amateur crown at his fourth try.