Miyazato claims first LPGA Tour title in Safeway Classic
JAPAN’s Mika Miyazato claimed her first LPGA Tour title by winning the Safeway Classic on Sunday with a closing two-under 70 to beat Inbee Park and Brittany Lincicome by two shots.
The 22-year-old Miyazato finished at 13-under 203 for a wire-to-wire victory on Pumpkin Ridge’s Ghost Creek Course.
She shared the first-round lead and had a two-shot advantage after the second round.
"It was my dream to win and play on the LPGA Tour," Miyazato said. "It is very fulfilling for me to win along with those other famous players."
Lincicome shot a final-round five-under 67, and Park had a two-under 70.
Miyazato, who earned $225,000 in prize money, is in her fourth season on the LPGA Tour. She is the sixth first-time winner this year and finally broke through for the victory after two second-place finishes earlier this year.
"At the beginning of the season, my short game was no good. I try to work more on my short game," Miyazato said. "My golf game is getting better. I have more confidence in my golf game."
South Korea’s Haeji Kang shot the best round of the day with a 66. She tied for fourth at 10 under with Cristie Kerr (70) and So Yeon Ryu (71).
Sydnee Michaels, co-leader in the first round, was four strokes back after a 70.
Michelle Wie posted her first top-10 finish of the year, shooting a 69 to finish alone in eighth place.
World No1 Yani Tseng shot a disappointing final round of 73 to finish at six under. Feng Shanshan was three under after a 70.
Miyazato breezed through the front nine, and took a three-stroke lead into the back nine. But a bogey at 10 allowed four players to pull within a shot of the lead. The bogey was Miyazato’s first in 40 holes.
But no one was able to catch Miyazato. She gave herself more breathing room with a five-foot birdie putt at the short par-four 17th for a two-stroke lead.
Park made five birdies in an eight-hole stretch. She missed a six-foot eagle putt on 17 that would have given her a share of the lead with Miyazato.
Lincicome birdied the final two holes in her bogey-free round.
Kang made eight birdies, and moved into contention on the back nine, pulling within one stroke of the lead. But her chances disappeared with a double bogey on the 17th hole.
•Willie Wood won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open on Sunday for his first Champions Tour title, beating Michael Allen with a par on the first hole of a playoff.
Wood made a long birdie putt on the final hole of regulation to match Allen, a two-time winner this year, at 13-under 203 on the En-Joie Golf Course. Wood closed with a 66, and Allen shot 66.
In the playoff on the par-four 18th hole, Allen’s drive went way left, ending his chances.
Wood earned $270,000 for the victory, his first since he won the 1996 Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic for his lone PGA Tour title.
Joey Sindelar, Kenny Perry, Tom Lehman and Brad Faxon finished a stroke back. Sindelar had a 66, Perry and Lehman shot 67, while Faxon had a 71.
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