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Yoneyama claims Daikin Orchid title

Date Posted: 2007-03-08

Midori Yoneyama struggled through the early holes of Sunday’s Daikin Orchid Ladies Golf Tournament, then rallied to first tie the match, then win in a playoff.

Yoneyama picked up her seventh Japan LPGA Tour title with the weekend win at the Ryukyu Golf Club in Okinawa. She had trailed Asuka Tsujimura most of the match before bouncing back on the final two holes. Yoneyama recovered from a two-stroke deficit and moved on to a playoff hole.

She won the match when Tsujima couldn’t match par on the first playoff hole. Yoneyama picked up a ¥14.4 million paycheck for the Daikin Orchid, her first victory since a pair of wins two years ago. “I thought it was beginning to go my way on the 17th hole,” she told reporters. “And then I had a great putt.”

The galleries were packed, with some estimates that spectators exceeded 30,000 to watch local favorites Ai Miyazato and Sakura Yokomine. Miyazato seemed to have a huge following among young girls, and many fathers were carrying young daughters on their shoulders throughout the match. The adoration wasn’t enough though. Neither Miyazato or Yokomine fared well in this year’s Daikin Orchid.

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