Mayu Hattori restored national pride on the Japan LPGA Tour on Sunday by winning the Earth Mondahmin Cup following a dramatic climax.
Hattori, teeing off tied for 1st place with Sakura Yokomine and South Korean Ahn Sun Ju, snatched victory with a 25-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th at Camellia Hills Country Club, becoming the first Japanese winner on the tour since Chie Arimura won the Cyber Agent Ladies on April 29.
Hattori, who had trailed by two strokes at the 16th hole before her late comeback that also featured a birdie on the 17th, carded a 68 in the final round finished at 15-under 201 for her first win of the season and fourth of her career.
"I made bogeys during my round and things turned tough, but once again I have realized the importance of never giving up," said Hattori. "All I was thinking about was giving it my best shot, but the end result is that I have stopped the streak, (of recent foreign domination of the tour) so I'm pleased.
Arimura also shot a 68 and shared second with Yokomine, who had a 69. Ahn shot a 70 and placed fourth at 13 under.
South Korean golfers including Ahn, money rankings leader Jeon Mi Jeong and Park In Bee had won six of the seven previous events, while LPGA Championship winner Feng Shanshan of China won the Yonex Ladies in May.