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Miyazato Takes LOTTE Championship
Ai Miyazato closed with a 2-under 70 to win the LPGA Tour's LOTTE Championship by four strokes. The 26-year-old from Japan finished at 12-under 276 at Ko Olina Golf Club in Oahu, Hawaii, earning $255,000.
Miyazato started the final round Saturday (the event, unusually, started on a Wednesday) with a three-stroke lead and cruised home for her eighth victory on the LPGA Tour. Sharing second were South Korea's Meena Lee and Spain's Azahara Munoz.
After a birdie and bogey on the front nine for an even-par 36, Miyazato bogeyed No. 12 but birdied three of the next five holes to get separated from the field.
Lee made a run with four birdies through the first seven holes, but a bogey on the ninth gave her 3-under 33 at the turn. She then birdied the 10th, bogeyed the 14th, birdied the 15th and needed some magic down the stretch to catch Miyazato. But two pars on the 16th and 17th and a double-bogey on the last gave Lee a 70 and a tie for second with Spain's Azahara Munoz, who closed with a 71.
Miyazato had a plan for the final round. "Just be patient, it's going to be my day," she said at greenside. "If I'm patient, I can make some birdies. After 12, I said to myself, 'Let's start again.' "
The key for Miyazato this week was her work on the short grass; she needed only 111 putts over 72 holes. "All week I made so many good putts."
As for the rest of the season, Miyazato added: "My game is in good shape, so hopefully I can keep it going."
Sharing fourth at 281 were South Korea's So Yeon Ryu (71) and the highest-finishing American, Cristie Kerr (72), who played in the final group with the Miyazato. In sixth was Norway's Suzann Pettersen (69), while tied for seventh at 283 were American Brittany Lang (70), Colombia's Mariajo Uribe (68) and South Korea's Jiyai Shin (73).
World No. 1 Yani Tseng closed with a 2-over 74 to share 10th with England's Karen Stupples (69) at 284.
For all the scores, visit http://www.lpgascoring.com/public/Leaderboard.aspx.