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HARU NOMURA WINS AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Great closing round of 65 clinches title for Japanese starlet

She left her only mistake until the last, and by then, Haru Nomura already knew that the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open was hers. She had played one of the great rounds of Australian tournament golf, a 65 that closed out legends of the past, present and future, such as world No. 1 Lydia Ko, and hall of famer Karrie Webb.

Nomura, the Honolulu based 23-year-old from Kanagawa, Japan, has introduced herself to the golfing world with a thunderclap.

Her seven-under closing round, spiced with monster birdie putts and just 26 blows with the flat stick, took her to 16-under-par and a three-shot victory over Ko at 13-under. With three holes to play the New Zealander Ko was just a shot back and threatening, but Nomura just kept hitting greens and making putts, again at the 16th from short range, and yet again from 10 metres at the 17th with a downhill slider that would have scared most players.

She summed it up afterward: “The putter …wow … Unbelievable!”

She bogeyed the last hole from the front, right trap but Ko had suffered the same fate, and the margin was three shots. Ko, who finished outright second after a 67, was among the players who rained bottles of water and sports drink upon her on the 18th green.

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