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Miyazato wins LPGA LOTTE Championship by 4



Honolulu, Hawaii (Sports Network) - Ai Miyazato birdied three of the last six holes Saturday to pull away and win the inaugural LPGA LOTTE Championship.

Miyazato closed with her second straight two-under 70 to finish at 12-under- par 276. The win was her eighth on the LPGA Tour and first since last year's Evian Masters.

"That was a really tough day. Every player in the top 10 was getting so close and that gave me more pressure," said Miyazato in a TV interview. "I just said to myself, 'stay patient and it'll be my day.'"

Meena Lee and Azahara Munoz could not keep pace down the stretch. Lee also shot 70, while Munoz closed with a 71. They shared second place at minus-eight at Ko Olina Golf Club.

So Yeon Ryu (71) and Cristie Kerr (72) tied for fourth at seven-under-par 281. Suzann Pettersen ended alone in sixth at minus-six after a final-round 69.

Women's World No. 1 Yani Tseng stumbled to a two-over 74 to slide into a share of 10th place at four-under-par 284. The share of 10th place was Tseng's worst finish in seven starts this year.

Miyazato led by three entering the final round, but that lead was gone before she made her first birdie. She parred the first five holes, while Lee was making a run.

Lee, who had birdied three in a row from the second, chipped in for birdie at the seventh to briefly join Miyazato at 10-under. Miyazato responded with a 25-foot birdie putt in the sixth to regain the top spot.

After a pair of pars, Miyazato hit a poor chip on the ninth and that bogey led to a three-way tie for the lead with Lee and Munoz, who birdied three of four holes from the fifth to climb to 10-under.

Lee had dropped a shot on the ninth, but erased that mistake with a seven-foot birdie putt on the 10th to get back to minus-10. She parred the next three before stumbling to a bogey on the 14th.

Miyazato was briefly one back after a bogey on the 12th. She came right back with a 35-foot birdie putt on the 13th to join Lee, who birdied the 15th, atop the leaderboard.

"I got a little bit unlucky on my second shot [on 12], but afterwards I said to myself, 'let's start it again.' I am very happy with the results that followed," Miyazato stated in a televised interview.

The 26-year-old Miyazato rolled in a birdie effort from off the green at the 15th to go one ahead. As Lee was making a mess of the 18th, Miyazato drained an eight-foot birdie putt at No. 17.

Lee found sand with her approach at the last, then hit a poor bunker shot. She three-putted for double-bogey to fall four back.

Miyazato found the short grass off the tee at the last. She dumped her second shot in a bunker, but blasted to a foot and tapped in for par to seal the win.

"The whole week I had so many good putts. So, definitely, my putting is much better," Miyazato said on TV.

Munoz tripped to a bogey on the 10th, and another bogey at No. 14. She parred the other seven holes on the back nine to share second.

"I don't feel like I played two-over on the back nine. I hit some good putts that didn't go in and I just made a stupid mistake on 14," Munoz said in a televised interview. "I missed the fairway by three feet and the ball was really sitting down and I made a really bad bogey there. I think that hole kind of changed everything."

NOTES: Miyazato, who earned $255,000 for the win, won for the third time in four tries when owning at least a piece of the 54-hole lead...She has five top-six finishes in her seven tour starts this year...The tour heads to Alabama next week for the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, where Maria Hjorth is expected to defend her title.

04/21 22:53:12 ET


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