ROCHESTER, NEW YORK – On the eve of the LPGA Championship, Ai Miyazato said Wednesday she was in top form and primed to win her first major.
Ranked fourth in the world and third in the U.S tour’s money rankings, the Japanese star does not expect the kind of rollercoaster that doomed her putting game and left her in 56th place at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the season’s first major.
“I let myself get carried away by my emotions,” said Miyazato, whose first title of the season came at April’s Lotte Open in Hawaii.
Over the season as whole, however, her putting has been solid. Her putting average of 28.13 is best on the tour.
Not only is the par-72 Locust Hill Country Club notable for its narrow fairways and small greens, but the rough is higher than normal in preparation for this event.
“I’ve been practicing with this (major) in mind,” said Miyazato, who was in good form with her driver at last weekend’s Shoprite Classic. “The biggest thing is to maintain the tempo of my swings.
“It really feels like I’ll be able to play this week at my pace.”
If she is able to swing that, Miyazato has a solid chance of becoming the second Japanese to capture a U.S. major and the first since Hisako Higuchi won the 1997 LPGA Championship.