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Miyazato captures Japan LPGA title

Date Posted: 2006-09-16

Okinawa’s golf sweetheart became the youngest to win the Japan Ladies Professional Golf Association Championship with a convincing victory in Hokkaido.

Ai Miyazato, in winning the event with a final round two-under-par 70, picked up not only her first 2006 victory on home soil, but at age 21, the title of youngest champion. She wrapped up the 72-hole event with a six-under-282, three strokes ahead of her nearest competitor, Shin Hyun Ju of South Korea.

This was Miyazato’s second major win on the Japan tour, with the latest trophy sitting alongside one from the Japan Women’s Open. “It was tough to create birdie chances on the first three holes,” she said of the win, “because I couldn’t control my shots. She slipped into the final round at Tomakomai with a one shot lead, but then bogeyed the par-4 third hole to fall back into a tie. She rallied on the fourth and fifth holes to recapture the lead.

The Higashi village native, now playing her rookie season on the American LPGA tour, has picked up five Top 10 US LPGA finishes so far this year. The Japan LPGA Championship is her 13th victory on the Japan tour.

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