Mone Inami clinches Konica Minolta Cup with dazzling final-round 64

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Japanese golfer Mone Inami poses with the trophy after winning the JLPGA Championship Konica Minolta Cup at Shizu Hills Country Club.
Japanese golfer Mone Inami poses with the trophy after winning the JLPGA Championship Konica Minolta Cup at Shizu Hills Country Club. (PHOTO: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)

Japan's Mone Inami, silver medalist at the recent 2020 Tokyo Olympics Game, clinched her ninth professional career title at the 2021 JLPGA Championship Konica Minolta Cup on Sunday (12 September), breaking the tournament record with a winning total of 19-under-par 269.

The 22-year-old carded a stunning eight-under 64 in the final round at the Shizu Hills Country Club to overtake third-round leader Mao Saigo, who had to settle for second spot with a 15-under 273. Shiho Oyama was third, another stroke behind.

"I was glad I was able to achieve it so quickly because my goal was to win the majors. My next goal is 10 wins, and I want to do my best with that goal. I also cannot wait to return to defend my title next year as I'm sure it's going to be another exciting tournament," Inami said.

Since last year, the Konica Minolta Cup - which is into its 54th edition - has been staged as a domestic event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Former world No.1 women's golfers Feng Shanshan and Inbee Park were among the international stars who last featured in the tournament in 2019.

Nevertheless, title sponsor Konica Minolta is looking forward to the return of Asia's best female golfers following the conclusion of this year's event.

"It's a pity we could not invite several of Asia's top women's golfers to the tournament due to the challenges posed by COVID-19. But we are hopeful the situation will be better next year, and we can welcome their return," said Tomoko Katsumura, Konica Minolta's senior manager of international communication department.

As part of its plans to raise the tournament's stature, a minimum of 350 ranking points has been given, rising from the previous 300 points, to add more prestige to it in the women's world golf rankings.

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