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Miyazato falters after holding lead into LPGA final round

Date Posted: 2006-06-10

Ai Miyazato looked like a million dollars Saturday, shooting a five-under 66 to take the lead from her idol, Annika Sorenstam.

She broke down Sunday at the ShopRite LPGA Classic when her putter failed her, surrendering the lead to another 20-year-old rookie, Seon Hwa Lee of South Korea. Lee fended off challenges on the Galloway Township, N.J. course to bring home the trophy while defeating defending champion Annika Sorenstam.

Lee shot the lowest round of the Seaview Resort & Spa’s 6,071 yard course, using birdies to her advantage across the back nine. Sorenstam, Jeong Jang and Sherri Steinhauer tied for second place.
Sorenstam, who had won only once this year, first saw Miyazato pressure her, then Lee. Entering the final round behind Okinawa’s hometown hero, Annika racked up two bogeys on her first three holes.

For Miyazato, it was worse. Miyazato simply couldn’t get her putter to cooperate, shooting a 3-over-par 74 to finish nine shots off the lead. She played solidly in the early rounds as she made the bid for her first title on the American LPGA Tour.

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