Toru Taniguchi secures first win of 2005
BY Bruce Young | Japan Tour | 2005 Casio World Open | Wrap | 28 Nov 2005
Toru Taniguchi won his first event of the 2005 season but his tenth overall on the Japan Golf Tour when he outlasted Kim Jong Duck of Korea to claim the Casio World Open.
Taniguchi had finished second on the Japan Golf Tour last season following his consecutive wins at the Japan and Bridgestone Opens but this season, although there had been several top tens, he never really threatened to win. Here however, when he got into contention, he was not about to let go.
This year saw the rather grandly named, but perhaps not-so grand event, moved from its traditional home south of Kagoshima to the Kochi Kuroshio Golf Club in Kochi Prefecture on the island of Shikoku.
Taniguchi put a shaky mid-round stretch behind him on Sunday as he powered home with three birdies over the closing six holes to finish with 69 and edge ahead of his nearest pursuers.
Yasuharu Imano, one of the leading players on tour in 2005, recorded the best last round amongst the leading players to finish third one shot behind Kim Jong Duck.
For Kim it was his best finish in what has been an ordinary season by his recent standards. It was only his second top ten in twenty one starts in 2005.
Most of the interest early in the event was centred around the performance of Michelle Wie and she appeared on track for an historic achievement with just a few holes to go in her second round. After an opening round of 73 it became clear that she would need perhaps a similar effort in round two and when she reached the turn at two over there was still a chance. A birdie at the tenth made things even more interesting but bogeys at the last two holes where she missed the green on both occasions saw her miss by one shot.
It was a near miss but in now six events in men’s tournaments she has missed the cut each time. Undaunted, Wie indicated that she hoped she would learn from the mistakes she made and be ready for her next appearance at the Sony Open in January in her home state of Hawaii.
While many are quick to condemn her fascination in playing in men’s events, if a 16-year-old male was going this close to making cuts we would be hailing him as the next best thing in golf. She has yet to make a cent from playing the game in her two starts as a professional but she is hardly a struggling artist.
The Japan Golf Tour now heads to Tokyo for the season ending Golf Nippon Series JT Cup where last week’s Australian Open runner up, Paul Sheehan, defends a title he won last year by four shots over Y.E. Yang.