Kondo wins first Japan PGA victory in playoff
BY Bruce Young | Japan Tour | 2006 Japan PGA Championship | Wrap | 14 May 2006
Just over five years after first joining the Japan Golf Tour full time in 2001, 28-year-old Tomohiro Kondo today won his first Japan Golf Tour event when he outlasted the veteran, Katsuyoshi Tomori, to win the Japan PGA Championship.
Despite two late bogeys, Kondo was able to re-gather himself to win the event in a playoff after his last round of 69 had swept him from a share of third place and four behind the overnight leader, Toru Tangichi, to a share of the lead at the completion of the scheduled holes.
On a day where scoring was difficult at the Tanigumi Country Club, Kondo was able to challenge and defeat not only his playoff opponent, Tomori, who eventually finished alone in second place, but some of the most well credentialed players on the Japan Golf Tour.
Shingo Katayama finished third along with Taniguchi and in doing so the 33 year old from Ibaraki has now taken the lead on the Japan Golf Tour Order of Merit, ahead of Australian Brendan Jones who missed the cut this week.
Kondo raced through the front nine in 32 and at that stage the tournament was his for the winning or losing. As could be expected, from one with so little winning experience, he faltered late in his round with bogies at the 16th and 18th before a playoff finally delivered his first title on the JPGA Tour. His playoff opponent, Tomori, had also let a good chance to win his 8th Japan Tour title go begging when he bogeyed the final two holes.
Taniguchi, who had led into round four, made a horror start to the final day by dropping three shots in the first four holes and although he recovered in the middle of his round, he faltered late to miss the playoff by one shot.
The best of the Australians were Chris Campbell, Wayne Perske and Scott Laycock, who finished 26th.
The Japan Golf Tour now heads to the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup in Okayama.