Gemma Dryburgh celebrated a “life-changing win” after a superb final round of 65 propelled her to a first LPGA title at the Toto Japan Classic.
The 29-year-old Scot finished four shots clear of Japan’s Kana Nagai after home favourite and overnight leader Momoko Ueda faded badly on the final day, with a round of 74 dropping her into a share of fifth.
Dryburgh, who began the day one shot off the lead after also carding a 65 on Saturday, took full advantage of Ueda’s struggles with a run of four birdies in five holes helping her finish 20-under for the tournament, claiming the 300,000 US dollar (£264,000) prize.
“It is overwhelming, to be honest,” said Dryburgh, who becomes the first Scot to win on the LPGA since Catriona Matthew in 2011.
“It has been a dream for a long time and a lot of hard work has gone into this and it means so much as it is a life-changing win.
“I was surprisingly calm. When I’d dreamt of this moment, I thought I would be super nervous.
“I was nervous. I’m not going to lie. But I was incredibly calm, to be honest, and kind of focused on my breathing.”
JLPGA winner Nagai carded a 7-under 65, notching eight birdies to one bogey in her fourth appearance in the co-sanctioned even.
This was her career-best result in five starts on the LPGA Tour.
“Since many Japanese played well in the first 3 days, I tried to play in that mood. But, LPGA players finally came up on Sunday,” said Nagai, one of seven Japanese players among nine total tied for eighth and better. “I am really impressed that LPGA players played well even on the golf course which they are not used to.”
Sweden's Linn Grant finished third after a fourth-round 67, a new career-best result on Tour for the 2022 rookie.
“I think I did a good job, unfortunately had a bogey on the last is never fun, but up to that point I did my very best as much as I could,” said Grant. “Got some good game going, some putts, it was fun.”