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Safeway Classic win puts Ai-chan atop LPGA standings

Date Posted: 2010-08-26

Ai Miyazato started the final 18 holes of the Safeway Classic with the lead, but nerves forced a pair of bogeys on the second and seventh holes and put her determination into high gear; she rallied with a birdie on the par 5 ninth hole and won the championship, pushing herself back atop the Ladies Professional Golf Association Rolex Standings at the same time.

“Today was a really tough day,” Miyazato exclaimed as she reached for the Safeway Classic trophy. “I was nervous but after the birdie I got a good kick.” She outscored Cristie Kerr to win the event with an even-par 72, finishing 11 under and two strokes ahead of Kerr and South Korean Na Yeon Choi. Going into the Safeway Classic, Kerr held the number one Rolex position, but Miyazato, who led all three rounds, bested Jiyai Shin, Suzann Pettersen and Yani Tseng, the others vying for the Rolex top spot. Kerr had a chance to even things up with Miyazato, but misjudged a 12-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole, and her chances totally disappeared with a bad shot into the water on the final hole.

The Safeway Classic win was Miyazato’s fifth victory of the year. The Higashi Village native had been ranked Number 1 in June, then again in July. “My goal at the start of this year was to become Player of the Year,” she explained, “so I’m aiming for that. Everybody is so close at the top, so I don’t know what is going to happen, but it is a good motivator for me.”

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