Hitachi 3Tours Championship 2022

Skipper Higa leads JGTO to victory at Hitachi 3Tours Championship

Skipper Higa leads JGTO to victory at Hitachi 3Tours Championship

Kazuki Higa proved just why he's the best player of the year.

The 27-year-old, who bagged four JGTO titles this season en route to being crowned the Tour's Money Rankings champion, led the six-man star-studded JGTO contingent to glory in the 17th Hitachi 3Tours Championship at Taiei Country Club on Sunday.

As the name suggests, Hitachi 3Tours Championship is a unique one-day, 18-hole team stroke play contest held annually pitting all-star teams from JGTO, JLPGA and JPGA Senior.

Team JGTO, comprising also Rikuya Hoshino, Yuto Katsuragawa, Taiga Semikawa, Riki Kawamoto and Kaito Onishi, garnered 21 points to reclaim the title from Team JLPGA, beating the latter by just two points.

JPGA Senior finished third with 14 points.

Six players from each team form three different pairings and they earn points based on their position after a session.

For the morning's four-ball, the winning pair gets four points, followed by two for the second-placed combination. The last-placed pair receive zero point.

For the afternoon's foursome, the winners will be awarded six points, followed by four and two for second and third-placed finishers respectively.

Being the team captain, Higa certainly led by example when he delivered a maximum of 10 points, four from morning four-ball and six from afternoon foursome.

Forming a dream team with Hoshino, who finished second in the JGTO money list, the duo stamped their class by mixing an eagle and five birdies to top the morning's four-ball with a seven-under-par 30.

Higa returned in the afternoon to combine with Riki Kawamoto for the alternate shot format and impressed yet again.

They ruled the competition with a bogey-free two-under-par 35.

Higa and Co prevented the JLPGA from accomplishing a three-peat after claiming the bragging rights of the last two editions in 2019 and 2021.

It was JGTO's eighth victory since the tournament's inception in 2005.

"Thanks to the hard work from everyone in the team, we managed to win this," said Higa.

"I'm so proud and happy to be part of this winning side.

"It is not often that I get to play with seniors or women's competitors, I'm really grateful for this opportunity.

"All of us had a lot of fun playing this week."