Originally created 08/12/02

American Pena captures Sun Chlorella Classic



TOKYO -- American Christian Pena birdied the first hole of a playoff Sunday to win the Sun Chlorella Classic, his first victory on the Japanese tour.

Pena, a University of Arizona graduate, shot a 3-under 69 in the final round at the Sapporo Bay Golf Club to finish in a three-way tie with Australia's Brendan Jones and Japan's Naomichi Ozaki at 19-under 269.

Pena entered the final round with a two-stroke lead, then won the playoff on the par-5 18th hole to pocket $200,000, the biggest paycheck of his career.

"I've worked hard for this moment," Pena said. "As you can imagine, I was a little nervous standing over that birdie putt."

The 33-year-old Pena is in his third year on the Japanese tour. His best previous finish was a tie for fifth at the 2001 Mizuno Open.