November 24, 2019 / 10:41 AM / 18 days ago

Imahira lifts Dunlop Phoenix title as weather plays spoilsport

Golf - The 148th Open Championship - Royal Portrush Golf Club, Portrush, Northern Ireland - July 16, 2019 Japan's Shugo Imahira during practice REUTERS/Paul Childs

(Reuters) - Japan Tour money list leader Shugo Imahira claimed his second victory of the season at the Dunlop Phoenix tournament on Sunday after the organizers decided to scrap the final round due to a heavy thunderstorm in Miyazaki.

Imahira was in sublime form at Phoenix Country Club as he signed for a five-under-par 66 on Saturday and set a clubhouse target of 10-under after 54 holes, two shots clear of closest challenger Hwang Jung-gon of South Korea.

It proved to be enough as the organisers were unable to resume play in difficult weather conditions on Sunday.

As a result, Imahira collected 30 million yen ($276,000), or three-quarters of the winner’s prize money, boosting his chances of finishing at the top of the money list for a second consecutive season.

Imahira’s only other victory of the season came at the Bridgestone Open, which was also cut short to 36-holes due to impact of Typhoon Hagibis in Chiba last month.

Hideki Matsuyama, who won the Miyazaki event in 2014, finished at five-under in a group which also featured American power-hitter Cameron Champ.

U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland struggled to cope with windy course conditions as he finished tied-20th, eight shots behind Imahira.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter

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