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Another Okinawa girl wins in golf spotlight

Date Posted: 2007-10-01

Shinobu Moromizato has won the Japan Women’s Open Golf Tournament in Hokkaido, offering another victory for an Okinawa native.
The 21-year-old Moromizato held on for a one-shot victory in Sunday’s final round after easily rolled into first place in on Saturday with a seven-under-par 209, well ahead of second place finisher Yuri Fudo. Moromizato called her Saturday birdie on the fifth hole particularly good, giving her confidence for the rest of the round.
Sunday was almost a different story, heading into the par-5 18th leading Fudo by two strokes. Moromizato’s tee shot went erratic and her third bounced into the rough in front of the green. Fudo couldn’t capitalize on the miscues though, herself missing her putt that could have been her win. Instead, Moromizato popped in a bogey putt to finish with a one-over-par 73.
Hokkaido’s Tarumae Golf Country Club, a 6,522-yard par 72 course, has been favorable to Moromizato, despite being in the shadow of fellow Okinawan Ai Miyazato, who typically receives the media’s attention. Moromizato led the same tournament last year until the final round, when she succumbed to nervousness and slipped to second. The Okinawa gal, who turned professional in 2005 at age 19, now lives in Kobe.
Ai Miyazato is currently playing in the United States, but didn’t fare well in her tournament. She faltered in the early rounds, but says “I don’t feel bad at all, because my driving was good, so I still feel great.” Observers say the differences in the way Moromizato and Miyazato handle pressure is pronounced, with Miyazato normally less nervous.

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