Chiba prefecture, Japan, May 12: Japan’s Yosuke Asaji capped an unforgettable week when he held his nerve to win the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup by one shot on Mother’s Day at the Sobu Country Club on Sunday.
With his mother and wife following him throughout the final round, Asaji, who earned his spot by topping the Monday Qualifiers, kept his composure as he held on to his overnight lead to eventually close with a one-over-par 72.
Asaji’s winning total of three-under-par 281 also earned him a spot at The 148th Open which will be held at Royal Portrush, Northern Ireland in July.
The Japanese was chasing his first professional victory and admitted he also had a stroke of luck with his closest rivals failing to dislodge him from the leaderboard’s summit.
Micah Lauren Shin of the United States tried to surmount a late charge but dropped three shots in his inward-nine and had to settle for a share of second place with Japanese amateur Ren Yonezawa.
New Zealand’s Danzel Ieremia and Korea’s Y.E. Yang were tied for fourth while Zimbabwean Scott Vincent secured another top-10 by sharing sixth place with Korea’s Dongkyu Jang.
The Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup was the Asian Tour’s first stop in Japan this season and second of four co-sanctioned events with the Japan Golf Tour Organisation (JGTO) this year.
Did you know?
- Yosuke Asaji turned professional in 2012. Prior to his breakthrough, his best result at the Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup came in 2017 when he finished tied-10th.
- Asaji secured a spot at this week’s Asia-Pacific Diamond Cup when he topped the Monday Qualifiers where three spots were allocated for this week’s event.
- Micah Lauren Shin is based in Davao and came through Qualifying School in 2017. He made his breakthrough that same year when he won the Resorts World Manila Masters.
- Shin’s tournament winner’s exemption ends this season and he needs to finish inside the top-60 on the Order of Merit to keep his card.
- Shin’s tied-second finish this week was his best result since his victory in Manila in 2017. His previous best results after his breakthrough were two top-10s in Hong Kong in 2017 and 2018.
- In 2012, Lu Wei-chih underwent brain surgery to remove a non-malignant tumour which put him out of action for close to a year.
- Although he posted only one top-10 in the subsequent seasons upon his return, Lu was simply relieved he could compete again after his major health scare.
- All of Lu’s four victories on the Asian Tour have come from home soil in Chinese Taipei.
- It was another top-10 finish for Scott Vincent after finishing fourth in Perth earlier this year.
- Vincent came through Qualifying School in 2016. He did not miss a single cut in six tournaments that year and in 2017, he notched three top-three results to finish in 17th place on the Merit rankings to retain his playing rights.
- He finished fifth on the Habitat for Humanity Standings in 2018, thanks to nine top-10 results – the most number of top-10s made by a player without a win last season.