Overton Wins, Team USA Defeats Japan
July 16, 2004
ICHIHARA, Japan -- Jeff Overton won his second straight match, and the United States won five matches and halved another in the final round of the 2004 Fuji Xerox USA vs. Japan Collegiate Golf Championship at the Taiheiyou Club Ichihara Course in Ichihara, Japan, to claim a 32-28 victory.
The second team All-American won the round's sixth match after his opponent, Japan's Haruo Fujishima, ran out of balls after hitting two into the water on the 18th hole. Overton offered a ball to Fujishima to finish the match, but Fujishima declined. The Evansville, Ind., product was up by five strokes after No. 17 and birdied 18 to finish at 2-under-par 69.
Holding a 21-15 lead entering the day, the United States appeared to be headed for a loss in the first match of the round, but Giteku Gon missed a three-foot put for double bogey and the win to halve with Justin Smith, 69-69.
Team USA followed with two straight wins - a 66-68 John Holmes victory, and J.J. Jakovac's 73-75 finish against Toru Nakajima - to pull out to a 26-16 lead. Japan would follow by winning the next two matches after Nolan Martin's second shot went in the water on No. 18 to lose the match by one-stroke (70-71) to Takamasa Yamamoto, and Yuta Ikeda downed Trent Erb (67-77).
Tatsunori Nukaga defeated Peter Tomasulo by three strokes, 73-76. Michael Putnam clinched the win for Team USA with a 10-stroke victory in the final men's match of the competition.
Japan claimed the first three women's matches. Chiharu Tsunekawa downed Anna Grzebien, 71-77, Mao Kohyama defeated Kailin Downs, 73-75, and Chika Yamamoto beat Brooke Tull 74-76. Mayorkas defeated Saiki, 67-73, in the battle of MVPs in the final match of the competition for a final team score of 32-28. Saiki led for the first 11 holes before Mayorkas claimed the six-stroke victory.
The win was the United States ninth straight and gives the Americans an all-time 22-7 series lead. Team USA's Michael Putnam won the men's MVP award, while Charlotte Mayorkas shared the women's MVP with Japan's Miki Saiki.
(Golf Coaches Association of America contributed to this story)
FINAL RESULTS - UNITED STATES 32 JAPAN 28
JEFF OVERTON, USA defeats Haruo Fujishima, Japan, DQ
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