Mone Inami wins first LPGA event at Toto Japan Classic
Posted on: 05 Nov, 2023 at 01:50 PM
Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports
Mone Inami of Japan captured her first win on the LPGA Tour on Sunday with a one-stroke victory at the Toto Japan Classic in Omitama, Japan.
Inami carded a 3-under-par 69 on Sunday to finish 22-under 266 for the tournament at Taiheiyo Club, Minori Course. She recorded a one-stroke win over South Korean Seon Woo Bae (67 on Sunday) and second- and third-round co-leader Shiho Kuwaki (71) of Japan.
Inami collected four birdies against one bogey on Sunday to notch her 13th victory on the LPGA Tour of Japan. Prior to Sunday, Inami's most recent win came at the Nitori Ladies Golf Tournament in August 2022.
"I always aim to win at least one time per year. However, I have struggled this year. I had a good start this year. However, from the middle of the season I am struggling not only with my golf but also with my body condition. It made me unable to play well," Inami said of her JLPGA Tour season.
"Also, I did not feel comfortable with my swing all year long and changed my swing four times. But, I got something good feeling with my swing this week, it worked well and I won this tournament."
With the win, Inami pocketed $300,000. She opted against accepting immediate LPGA Tour membership, however, and will have until Nov. 13 (5 p.m. ET) to decide whether she will accept membership for the 2024 season.
"I am very happy to get an option that I can play not only on the Japan tour but also on the U.S. tour now," Inami said.
"I will discuss with my team to make a final decision whether we will take this option or not," Inami said after her round.
Bae's round on Sunday included six birdies and a bogey. Kuwaki, however, had three bogeys in the final round after going bogey-free over the first three days of the tournament.
South Korea's Jiyai Shin (65) and China's Xiyu Lin (67) ended up in a tie for fourth place at 20-under, while defending champion Gemma Dryburgh of Scotland (65) finished in a tie for sixth at 19-under with Thai golfer Jasmine Suwannapura (69).
"I'm very happy. You know, that's my goal since the middle of the year. I've been playing better and better every week so I see the results getting better and it's getting more positive. So, I'm very happy where I am now." Suwannapura said of moving up the Race to the CME Globe points list.
--Field Level Media