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Ai Miyazato wins by 1 in Arkansas



Rogers, AR (Sports Network) - Ai Miyazato fired a 6-under 65 on Sunday to come from behind and win the NW Arkansas Championship.

Miyazato finished at 12-under-par 201. The win was her second of the season and ninth of her career on the LPGA Tour.

"I was five shots behind this morning. I knew I needed to make lots of birdies today, but I didn't have any expectation and I didn't have any pressure on the front nine, so that's why I think I could focus my game and make four birdies," Miyazato said. "Then realized I might have a chance, but tried not to think about it that way. I just focused on every single shot and make as many as birdies possible."

Azahara Munoz also had a 65 to match Mike Miyazato (67) in second place at minus-11 at Pinnacle Country Club.

Veronica Felibert, who led after the first two rounds, struggled to a 1-over 72 to slide into a tie for fourth at 10-under-par 203. She ended alongside Inbee Park, who closed with a 3-under 68.

Felibert was four clear of the field to start the final round. She played the front nine in even par as she traded a birdie for a bogey from the second and again from the eighth to make the turn at 11-under.

Munoz, who was four groups ahead of Felibert, birdied the fourth, then holed out for eagle on the par-4 fifth. She birdied the seventh and around the turn the 12th to get to 10-under, where she was one back.

Ai Miyazato, in the penultimate group, got going with a birdie on the third. She birdied three of four holes from the fifth to jump to 10-under par.

Mika Miyazato, no relation to Ai, had three birdies in a four-hole span from the second. She also birdied No. 8 to grab a share of the lead at 11-under.

Felibert stumbled out of the lead as she bogeyed the 12th and 13th to drop to minus-9. She had two birdies and a bogey the rest of the way, but it wasn't enough.

"I didn't play the way I wanted, but I didn't feel nervous at all, I was surprised. I thought I was going to be more nervous," Felibert admitted. "But my swing wasn't there and I didn't try to fight it, I just played with what I had and it wasn't enough. So not a good day for me, but it was pretty cool and looking forward to do it again."

Munoz had birdied the 17th and parred the last to get in at 11-under. It was all up to the Miyazato's from there.

Mika moved into the lead at 12-under with a birdie on the 12th. Ai joined her there with birdies at 12 and 15.

Ai slipped one back with a bogey on 17, but atoned for that mistake with a 4- foot birdie putt at the last.

Mika dropped to 11-under when she bogeyed No. 16. After a par at 17, she had a birdie chance at the last from inside 10 feet to force a playoff, but it wasn't meant to be.

"I played very well front nine, with four birdies. I played aggressive, very patient and everything was good the first nine," said Mika Miyazato, who failed to earn her first LPGA Tour victory. "The back nine was very tough on me, so it was very disappointing, but another great experience for me."

NOTES: Ai Miyazato earned $300,000 for the win...She joined Yani Tseng and Stacy Lewis with multiple wins this year...The former world No. 1 will move to third in the new rankings on Monday...The tours heads to Wisconsin next week for the third major of the season as So Yeon Ryu defends her title at the U.S. Women's Open.

07/01 21:14:10 ET


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