Since 1968, the Japan LPGA Championship has been one of the nation’s premier women’s golf tournaments. Prominent golfers have enhanced their reputations with successful performances in the event, too.
Hisako “Chako” Higuchi rattled off seven consecutive wins in the tournament’s first seven years. Japan’s first World Golf Hall of Fame inductee in 2003, Higuchi added two more tournament triumphs in 1976 and ’77, giving her a remarkable nine titles in the event’s first decade of existence.
Now known as the JLPGA Championship Konica Minolta Cup, recent winners of the major have included former world No. 1 Ai Miyazato (2006), Ai Suzuki (2014, 2016), Nasa Hataoka (2019) and Mone Inami (2021). And by winning the 2022 edition of the tournament on Sunday, September 11, Haruka Kawasaki has entered the record book as the youngest winner of the tournament (19 years, 133 days).
Kawasaki, a Kyoto native, celebrated her 19th birthday on May 1. Four months and 10 days later, she had plenty of reasons to celebrate again. Her 16-under par 272 at Joyo Country Club in Joyo, Kyoto Prefecture, bested current LPGA Tour of Japan (commonly known as the JLPGA Tour) money leader Miyuu Yamashita’s 13-under 275.
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Author: Ed Odeven
Follow Ed on JAPAN Forward’s [Japan Sports Notebook] here on Sundays, in [Odds and Evens] here during the week, and Twitter ＠ed_odeven, and find him on JAPAN Forward’s dedicated sports website, SportsLook.