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Okinawa girls Daikin Orchid favorites

Date Posted: 2011-02-25

The prospects of an Okinawan winning the upcoming Daikin Orchid Ladies Golf Tournament are higher than ever, with Ai Miyazato, Mika Miyazato, Ayako Uehara, Yayoi Arasaki, Satsuki Oshiro and Shinobu Moromizato all on the players card for the March 4th ~ 6th event.

Japanese golf sensation Ai Miyazato, a Higashi Village, Okinawa native, who won the Daikin Orchid in 2004 with a 10-under-par 72 to win more than 10,800,000 as the youngest ever to win the tournament, is coming back carrying Japanese superstar status. Sheユs ranked 6th in the world on the Ladies Professional Golf Association circuit, having spent 11 weeks at number one last year. The defending champion of the Honda LPGA Tournament at Pattaya, Thailand, Miyazato finished 29th last weekend.

Fellow Okinawan Mika Miyazato fell a stroke short of her ninth career Top 10 finish at the Honda event, faltering with bogeys on the last two holes to finish 13th. The 21-year-old finished with a 2-under-286 at the Siam Country Club.

The 2011 Daikin Orchid Ladies Golf Tournament kicks off next weekend at Ryukyu Golf Club in Tamagusuku. The event is attracting nearly 100 golfers for the 54-hole stroke play tournament, including amateurs and top ranked Chinese and Korean players.. The bulk of the participants are drawn from the Japan Ladies Golf Association members, with amateurs rounding out the field. The top 50 competitors move to the final round on Sunday, March 6th.

Other top names slated for this yearユs event are Sakura Yokomine, Yukari Baba, Tomoko Kanai, Hiroko Miyazato,Yukari Kawamitsu and Chie Arimura. Many of the ladies got their professional golf starts at the Daikin Orchid, which now ranks as one of the worldユs premiere ladies events.

The Daikin Orchid is sponsored by Daikin Industry Ltd. The first action at the host Ryukyu Golf Club is a Pro-Am Tournament, where more than 230 golfers are expected to participate, including nearly a dozen amateurs.
A total of 90 million is on the line in the Daikin Orchid event, with some 14 million going to the winner. There are also special prizes being awarded, including products from sponsor Daikin. Okinawa Prefecture, Naha City, Nanjo city and the Okinawa Kanko Convention Bureau are also supporting the Daikin Orchid tournament.

RBC and BS-TBS are broadcasting the three-day event live across Japan. RBC coverage March 4th will be 12:45 a.m. ~ 1:45 a.m., then 4 ~ 4:45 pm. Saturday, and 3:30 ~ 4:45 p.m. Sunday. BS-TBS will carry live coverage Friday and Saturday, March 4th and 5th from 8 ~ 8:54 p.m., and Sunday the 6th 6 ~ 7:24 p.m.

A popular feature of the Daikin Orchid is the primarily volunteer staff. More than 455 ladies are donating their services to make the event a success. Daikin Bounty, a fundraising event promoting Okinawan culture, sports and entertainment, is also a part of the Daikin Orchid event. The group has raised 91.4 million since last year, donating funds to private and educational related Okinawa groups.

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