BANDO, Ibaraki Pref. – Mika Miyazato will enter the final round of the Japan Women’s Open with a four-shot lead again this year.
The less-famous, 20-year-old Miyazato, whose final-round 78 cost her a title in last year’s Open, shot a 1-over 73 on Saturday to see her overnight lead cut by one at Otone Country Club.
Miyazato made three birdies through 13 holes but stumbled to four bogeys in the final five holes.
“I just lacked aggressiveness late in the round,” said Miyazato, who finished tied for sixth in the 2009 Japan Women’s Open.
“I’ve been training a lot to play well in key situations, so I’ll just believe in myself and stay aggressive tomorrow,” she said.
The 2006 world junior champion is looking for her first title since she began her professional career on the U.S. PGA Tour last year.
Ayako Uehara was alone in second after a 71. Miki Saiki shot her third consecutive 71 and is another shot back.
Ai Miyazato, the No. 1-ranked women’s golfer in the world, carded a 72, leaving her six strokes behind Mika in fourth.