Gemma Dryburgh flies flag for Scotland with first win on LPGA Tour in Japan

Gemma Dryburgh fired a final-round 65 at Seta Golf Course to win the TOTO Japan Classic, securing her first title on the LPGA Tour.

Matt Chivers's picture
Sun, 6 Nov 2022
Gemma Dryburgh flies flag for Scotland with first win on LPGA Tour in Japan

Scotland's Gemma Dryburgh sensationally won her first title on the LPGA Tour, carding a 65 on Sunday to win the TOTO Japan Classic.

Her score of 268, which was enough to win by four shots on 20-under from Kana Nagai, is her new career-best 72-hole total. She is also the 11th first-time winner on Tour this season. 

Dryburgh began the day one shot behind Momoko Ueda. She made gains with birdies on the 4th and 7th holes and she took the lead when Ueda bogeyed the 9th hole.

The 29-year-old stamped her authority on the event on hole 11 by making a birdie while Ueda made a damaging double-bogey. Dryburgh described this as a turning point after the round.

Dryburgh carded another four birdies in her last six holes to seal the deal. Her bogey-free score of 7-under helped her to her first win since her victory in the Rose Ladies Series in 2021. She is the fourth Scot to win on the Tour and the first since Catriona Matthew in 2011.

Nagai did her very best to close the deficit with a 65 of her own on Sunday. Her outright finish in second was her career-best result on Tour and she was one of seven players who placed tied for eighth or better.

"I was in Korea last week with friends and I said to them ‘I mention you in my speech’ as a joke. But it’s overwhelming, to be honest," said Dryburgh.

"This has been a dream of mine for a long time. A lot of hard work has gone into this, so it means so much."

"That’s kind of a turning point in the round I’d say (hole 11). I had a really good shot there yesterday and hit the same club today, so I was confident I could do it again.

"But yeah, had an incredible shot there and it was a nice birdie on that one. It was quite a tough one."