Masahiro Kuramoto claimed a four stroke victory in the Handa Cup Senior Masters on the European Senior Tour’s first visit to Japan and immediately announced plans to compete in Europe.
Kuramoto of Japan shot a final round of 65 for a 17 under par total of 271 at Ohmurasaki Golf Club to finish ahead of Frankie Minoza of the Philippines and the Japanese pairing of Satoshi Higashi and Kiyoshi Murota.
Major Champions Sandy Lyle of Scotland and Welshman Ian Woosnam, Scot Andrew Oldcorn and European Senior Tour Number One Boonchu Ruangkit of Thailand all shared fifth place on 12 under par but were unable to threaten the leader.
Woosnam, the defending champion, did however have the consolation of a course record 63 in the final round.
“I am very happy to win this tournament as it is the first time we have co-sanctioned with the European Senior Tour,” said the Kuramoto. “In the future I want to play in Europe and aim to play the Senior Open Championship and other events next year.
“I am delighted that Dr Handa has made this tournament happen and for the efforts he makes for blind golf. I want to help in the future. And I am proud to win amongst these great players.”
Woosnam made ten birdies and one bogey in his defence of the title, finishing his golfing year off in style.
“I played reasonably yesterday but I couldn’t hole the putts but today they started going in early on and it’s just nice to get a good one for the last one of the year.
“It was a good defence. I wasn’t feeling well at the beginning of the week, but I’m starting to feel better now. I’ve still got it now and again. I will be back to try to win again.”
Fellow Masters Champion Lyle carded a final round 70 to claim a second successive top five finish to round of the year while Oldcorn finished with a 69.
“My number going out today was 69 so I’m happy to have achieved that,” said Oldcorn. “I’ve got through emotional ups and downs today. I was tense all day, I think due to the reality of not being in that position in a big event in a long time. I’m delighted really, it turned out to be a great week after all.”
Runagkit proved once again why he was the European Senior Tour’s Number One golfer of 2010 with a strong finish with a 66 to join the group at 12 under par.
“I wanted to win it, but it is still an ok start to the new season,” he said. “The last two times in Japan I was leading until the final round so here I was hoping to win.”