Golf: Kenichi Kuboya wins Panasonic Open after play-off

Tokyo (AFP) - Home-grown veteran Kenichi Kuboya beat compatriot Katumasa Miyamoto in a sudden-death play-off to lift his first title for five years at the Panasonic Open Japan on Sunday.

The pair were locked at 11-under par after both registered birdie fours at the 72nd hole of the co-sanctioned Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour event at Chiba Country Club.

But Kuboya kept his cool to shoot a final day 64 and win the ¥150 million (S$1.9 million) event as Miyamoto fired his play-off hole tee shot out of bounds, and put his next into trouble before conceding.

The 45-year-old Kuboya is a seven-time Japan Golf Tour winner, but his last title came in 2012, and he had not featured as an Asian Tour player since losing his card in 2011.

Now Kuboya is set to make a massive leap from 1,880th in the world to around the top 500 when the new rankings are released on Monday.

"I was on form with my putter all week, so that really helped a lot," said Kuboya.

"I was not expecting to win at the start of the week as I had set for myself a top-10 target. So this win is definitely a bonus.

"I'm going to drink lots of alcohol to celebrate this victory."

It was a disappointing final round for the overnight leader from South Korea, Kwang Jung Gon whose bogey on 17 cost him a place in the play-off as he could only card a level-par 71 to finish in a tie for third on 10 under.