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Okinawa teen golf idol fails to make cut at U.S. Ladies Open

Date Posted: 2005-07-02

Ai Miyazato played good, and bad, at the US Women’s Open Golf Championships.

She didn’t win--In fact, she failed to make the cut leading to the finals, which was ultimately won by South Korea’s Birdie Kim riding a 30-yard bunker shot on the final hole to win the championship. Kim,23, wrapped it up with a 3-over-par 287 to take home a $560,000 paycheck. It was Kim’s first major championship.

Hometown girl Miyazato says she’s “quite all right” though, telling reporters “I have the next play waiting and I’ve gotten my confidence from this tournament.”

The Cherry Hills Country Club course in Denver, Colorado was a challenge, from which she says she learned a lot while finishing two rounds with a nine-over-par score on the 6,749 yard course. “It was difficult course,” she said, “with no birdies and seven bogeys. From the start I was over, and then more and more things went worse.”

She says she was “tensed up” the first day, but bounced back the second, hitting 70% of her fairways. It was putting that was the problem. Beginning on the tenth hole of the second round, when she had a birdie opportunity, it didn’t work. “Oh no! I fully realize that I’m bad,” she blurted.

Philosophically, Miyazato says “the flow if the game is very important. If one hole goes bad, then the next hole will become bad, and the third hole won’t be good either.” She says “I couldn’t control the ball at all, and I couldn’t get the flow of the play.”

Still, her dreams are intact as she played with the world’s best, including Annika Sorenstam, who didn’t fare well either. “My dream is still to become champion of this game,” Miyazato added, pointing to her next tee time, today, on the America Tour.

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