Rookie Kobayashi wins on Asian Tour

Tour rookie Masanori Kobayashi fired a final- round, 9-under 62 Sunday to come from behind and get his first Asian Tour victory at the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open.

Kobayashi, who matched the second-lowest 9-hole score in tour history with a 7-under 28 on the front side, finished at 17-under 267 and won by a single shot at Higashi Hirono Golf Club.

"My dream was always to win on the Asian Tour and in Japan and I've enjoyed the best of both tours. This is indeed a very happy occasion in my career," said Kobayashi, a 36-year-old, who got his tour card at Q School this year.

This event was co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour. This was Kobayashi's second Japan Tour after his victory last year at the Totoumi Hamamatsu Open.

Koumei Oda posted a 4-under 67 and finished second at 16-under par.

Kobayashi missed an 8-foot birdie chance at the 18th and had to wait for the final groups to finish.

"When I missed that putt, I thought I was going to be in a playoff with Koumei, " admitted Kobayashi. "I was very nervous until fans started coming over and congratulating me because Oda made par on 18."

Third-round leader Masamichi Uehira only managed an even-par 71 and took third at minus-14.

Reigning Asian Tour No. 1 Juvic Pagunsan (71), Shiv Kapur (67) and Tomohiro Kondo (70) shared fourth place at 13-under 271.