Imano back as winner in Japan
BY Bruce Young | Japan Tour | 2002 NST Niigata Open | Wrap | 28 Jul 2002
Yasuharu Imano arrived on the Japan Tour scene around five years ago and it did not take him long to make his mark when he did.
In 1999 he won the prestigious Chunchi Crowns then in 2000 he won the Mizuno Open. His form however over the last two years has fallen away and in the past eighteen months his best finish has been tenth.
That was of course until this week in Niigata, on the west coast of Honshu, where Imano produced a last round 66 to get up and beat overnight leader Katsumasa Miyamoto. Miyamoto looked to have the tournament in his hands, especially when he passed through the turn in two under but late bogies by him and Imano’s strong finish put paid to that and in the end the difference was four.
Queenslander Craig Jones playing for the first time in Japan played well all week and managed to hang on to third tying for that spot with two others. Jones, who won the New Zealand Open in 1994 and an event on the Canadian Tour the same year, has struggled without a regular place to play. He has only a limited rating, gained via last year’s tour school, for the tour in Japan so will need to take advantage of this event, and the Aiful Cup next week, where many of the lesser lights on the Japan Tour get a start. He gets a cheque for around $A40,000
New Zealander Richard Lee had his best finish in his first year in Japan in 15th place at 8 under, ten behind the winner. He is in a similiar situation to Jones in terms of getting starts
Andrew Bonhomme was 41st, Craig Warren 47th, Australian based Korean Unho Park 47th and Brad Andrews 64th.