Mon, May 12, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Hiroyuki Fujita wins at Beijing Open

AFP , BEIJING

Japanese star Hiroyuki Fujita battled through a gruelling final day of the Beijing Open to lift the title with a second straight even-par 72 yesterday.

Fujita took a three-stroke lead at Pine Valley Golf Club to beat the elite field in the US$1 million event.

The 39-year-old Japanese player shot two birdies against an equal number of bogeys in a wet and windy final round to take a total 12-under-par 276.

“It was a tough, tough day. I’m just happy to be standing here with the trophy,” said Fujita, who was one over after nine holes, but extended his lead to four strokes after a crucial birdie on the 13th.

Compatriot Shintaro Kai claimed second place on 68, while Fijian Dinesh Chand enjoyed his best finish on the Asian Tour this season, firing his third consecutive 69 for a 280 total to end third.

Kai tried to chase down the champion by firing two birdies on the last three holes, but Fujita held on to par the last five holes for the win.

“After the birdie on the 13th hole, I knew that I was that much closer to the title. It was a difficult tournament to win. I had a six strokes lead coming in today but I felt the pressure,” Fujita said.

He has been enjoying a steady run in the past year, recording 11 top-10 finishes last year and ranking eighth on the money list.

Kai, rated as one of the long hitters on the domestic circuit, finished in second place thanks to six birdies against two bogeys.

“It was really cold out there and I had forgotten to bring my jacket today as I had left it at the hotel. I’ve been shooting a lot of bogeys with the jacket on this week so it’s good that I did not bring it today,” Kai said.

Chand, a former caddie for Fijian star Vijay Singh, posted his third straight 69 after five birdies against two dropped shots.

“My favorite number is 69 now that I’ve recorded that score three days in a row and delivered my best result here. It’s been tough and cold for everyone, but I know it was a great experience for all the players and fans alike,” Chand said.

Taiwan’s Lu Wei-cih went round in 70 yesterday to finish joint-ninth.

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