TOTO Japan Classic R3

Ai Suzuki wins in home country

November 08-10
Seta Golf Club, Shiga, Japan
$1,500,000
Round 1, Round 2


JLPGA star Ai Suzuki gave the fans in Japan a thrill on Sunday at the 2019 TOTO Japan Classic. 14-time JLPGA winner Suzuki played the final two rounds bogey-free and closed with a Sunday 67 to hold off any challengers and capture her first career LPGA title at 17-under par.


“Somehow, I am very settled, and my shot were solid,” Suzuki said through a translator. “So I did not have to worry about other players. I just have to play bogey free round. One thing I wanted to improve is to have some birdies on Sunday back nine. Because I think strong players are like that. I wish I can do that. It was my 15th win. This one is special because US LPGA tour event. It’s beyond Japan, and International Event.”

LPGA major champion Hyo Joo Kim made a late charge playing alongside Suzuki as she birdied her last three holes for her 12th top-10 finish of the season and third runner-up result finishing at 14-under par.

“Next week I will practice more, and then workout a bit hopefully same for CME, top 10,” Kim said of her goals for the upcoming season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

Minjee Lee posted a final-round 68 to finish at 11-under par and collect her second-straight top-three finish.


“Obviously would be nice to win, but we were pretty much playing for second, I think, so I just tried to make as many birdies as I could out there and just play my game,” Lee said of the final round in Japan.

2019 LPGA Tour rookie Jennifer Kupcho came out firing on Sunday with five birdies on her first seven holes, she cooled off to post a 68 and finish in a tie for fourth with Jing Yan for her third top-five finish of the season. Afterwards Kupcho said she was really pleased to finish off her first Asia swing with a good result and head into the CME Group Tour Championship with a bit of momentum.

“I was hitting the ball really well. Gave myself a lot putts. I even missed a couple, left them on the lip,” Kupcho said. “I played really well this week and I’m pretty happy with it…It’s been really cool just to see all the different countries and different cultures. It’s definitely something I would’ve never dreamed of. It’s pretty cool to be able to see it all.”

Two-time TOTO Japan Classic champion Shanshan Feng finished T6 at -9 alongside Gaby Lopez, Sakura Koiwai and Erika Kikuchi.

Early in the afternoon on Sunday Morgan Pressel had the Seta Golf Course on high alert as she made birdies on her first five holes. Pressel would make the turn in 29 before stumbling with three straight bogeys on holes 13-15. Her hot start was enough to keep her tied for 10th at -8 alongside Azahara Munoz and Hannah Green, for her second straight top-10 finish.

“I really haven’t had my A game for the whole trip, but proud of the way I’ve grinded it out the last two weeks,” Pressel said. “I don’t know if it’ll be a top 10 this week, close to top 10 last week, so definitely proud of the way that we fought out there.”


For winning the 2019 TOTO Japan Classic, Ai Suzuki is eligible for LPGA Membership for the 2020 season. Suzuki must inform LPGA officials of her decision by November 18, 2019. If she chooses to accept LPGA Membership for the 2020 season, 2020 will be her rookie year and she will be seeded in Category 7 on the LPGA Priority List. 

“It was my dream so I feel like I want to challenge,” Suzuki said. “But I can’t speak English. And I need to talk to my family because I need their support. I am not good in Moving around, travelling, and food. 70% I want to but considering all that, It’s 20%. First thing is that I want to be Money winner and want to play ANA inspiration.”

If she chooses not to join the LPGA in 2020, she is eligible for a maximum of six sponsor invitations in 2020, plus she can compete in all five major championships and the HSBC Women’s World Championship. She would not gain entry into the 2020 Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions.


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Lifestyle
By GT Editor
Pos.
Player
To Par
Scores
Total
Prize Money
1
Ai Suzuki
-17
67 – 65 – 67
199
$225,000
2
Hyo Joo Kim
-14
68 – 68 – 66
202
$136,903
3
Minjee Lee
-11
68 – 69 – 68
205
$99,314
T4
Jing Yan
-10
69 – 69 – 68
206
$69,332
T4
Jennifer Kupcho
-10
68 – 70 – 68
206
$69,332
T6
Sakura Koiwai
-9
70 – 69 – 68
207
$40,850
T6
Erika Kikuchi
-9
70 – 68 – 69
207
$40,850
T6
Shanshan Feng
-9
70 – 67 – 70
207
$40,850
T6
Gaby Lopez
-9
68 – 67 – 72
207
$40,850
T10
Azahara Munoz
-8
70 – 71 – 67
208
$28,232
T10
Morgan Pressel
-8
70 – 71 – 67
208
$28,232
T10
Hannah Green
-8
67 – 69 – 72
208
$28,232
T13
Ah-Reum Hwang
-7
72 – 66 – 71
209
$23,135
T13
Chella Choi
-7
70 – 68 – 71
209
$23,135
T13
Hinako Shibuno
-7
69 – 69 – 71
209
$23,135
T16
Yui Kawamoto
-6
71 – 71 – 68
210
$20,013
T16
Sun-Ju Ahn
-6
70 – 71 – 69
210
$20,013
T18
Nicole Broch Larsen
-5
70 – 71 – 70
211
$18,214
T18
Seon Woo Bae
-5
69 – 72 – 70
211
$18,214
T20
Erika Hara
-4
73 – 70 – 69
212
$16,340
T20
Mel Reid
-4
73 – 69 – 70
212
$16,340
T20
Eri Okayama
-4
70 – 72 – 70
212
$16,340
T20
Ariya Jutanugarn
-4
73 – 68 – 71
212
$16,340
T24
Saki Asai
-3
74 – 71 – 68
213
$13,033
T24
Jeongeun Lee6
-3
70 – 74 – 69
213
$13,033
T24
Pornanong Phatlum
-3
74 – 69 – 70
213
$13,033
T24
So Yeon Ryu
-3
74 – 69 – 70
213
$13,033
T24
Lexi Thompson
-3
74 – 68 – 71
213
$13,033
T24
Momoko Ueda
-3
72 – 70 – 71
213
$13,033
T24
Kana Mikashima
-3
69 – 73 – 71
213
$13,033
T24
Yu Liu
-3
69 – 71 – 73
213
$13,033
T32
Mi Jung Hur
-2
73 – 74 – 67
214
$9,435
T32
Hina Arakaki
-2
70 – 73 – 71
214
$9,435
T32
Sakura Yokomine
-2
73 – 69 – 72
214
$9,435
T32
Sayaka Takahashi
-2
70 – 72 – 72
214
$9,435
T32
Lydia Ko
-2
68 – 74 – 72
214
$9,435
T32
Misuzu Narita
-2
70 – 71 – 73
214
$9,435
T32
Su Oh
-2
72 – 68 – 74
214
$9,435
T32
Teresa Lu
-2
68 – 72 – 74
214
$9,435
T40
Eun-Hee Ji
-1
75 – 70 – 70
215
$7,196
T40
Mone Inami
-1
72 – 72 – 71
215
$7,196
T40
Jiyai Shin
-1
74 – 69 – 72
215
$7,196
T40
Mi-Jeong Jeon
-1
73 – 68 – 74
215
$7,196
T40
Minami Katsu
-1
69 – 71 – 75
215
$7,196
T45
Bronte Law
E
73 – 74 – 69
216
$5,707
T45
Hee-Kyung Bae
E
72 – 74 – 70
216
$5,707
T45
Ally McDonald
E
74 – 71 – 71
216
$5,707
T45
Megan Khang
E
74 – 71 – 71
216
$5,707
T45
Mamiko Higa
E
70 – 75 – 71
216
$5,707
T45
Marina Alex
E
71 – 72 – 73
216
$5,707
T45
Rumi Yoshiba
E
70 – 71 – 75
216
$5,707
T52
Moriya Jutanugarn
1
72 – 75 – 70
217
$4,347
T52
Nasa Hataoka
1
71 – 76 – 70
217
$4,347
T52
Serena Aoki
1
74 – 72 – 71
217
$4,347
T52
Kristen Gillman
1
73 – 73 – 71
217
$4,347
T52
Wei-Ling Hsu
1
73 – 72 – 72
217
$4,347
T52
Celine Boutier
1
72 – 73 – 72
217
$4,347
T52
Anna Nordqvist
1
71 – 73 – 73
217
$4,347
T52
Rei Matsuda
1
69 – 75 – 73
217
$4,347
T52
Gerina Piller
1
70 – 73 – 74
217
$4,347
T61
In-Kyung Kim
2
76 – 73 – 69
218
$3,523
T61
Lala Anai
2
76 – 71 – 71
218
$3,523
T61
Mi Hyang Lee
2
75 – 72 – 71
218
$3,523
T61
Ashleigh Buhai
2
74 – 71 – 73
218
$3,523
T61
Ji-Hee Lee
2
73 – 72 – 73
218
$3,523
T66
Asuka Kashiwabara
3
74 – 74 – 71
219
$3,223
T66
Angel Yin
3
69 – 78 – 72
219
$3,223
T66
Kana Nagai
3
72 – 71 – 76
219
$3,223
T69
Hikaru Yoshimoto
4
74 – 74 – 72
220
$2,968
T69
Min-Young Lee
4
71 – 76 – 73
220
$2,968
T69
Jenny Shin
4
69 – 78 – 73
220
$2,968
T69
Mika Miyazato
4
74 – 71 – 75
220
$2,968
T69
Amy Olson
4
75 – 69 – 76
220
$2,968
T74
Jasmine Suwannapura
5
75 – 76 – 70
221
$2,831
T74
Momoko Osato
5
70 – 76 – 75
221
$2,831
76
Nanna Koerstz Madsen
7
75 – 75 – 73
223
$2,778
77
Saranporn Langkulgasettrin
12
81 – 70 – 77
228
$2,743
78
Jaye Marie Green
13
75 – 79 – 75
229
$2,708
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