RIFU, MIYAGI PREF – Ai Miyazato carded a 3-under-par 69 on Friday to share the first round lead at the Miyagi TV Cup, where 10 years ago she first won a tour event as an amateur.
Miyazato, a U.S. LPGA tour regular playing in her first domestic event this year, fired three back-nine birdies for a four-birdie, one-bogey round that left her tied for the lead with Taiwan’s Teresa Lu.
Miyazato has won 15 Japan tour events, nine times overseas and is a former world No. 1. The Okinawa native attended Tohoku High School in neighboring Sendai.
Tied for third two strokes back of the leaders at Miyagi Prefecture’s Rifu Golf Club were six golfers including last weekend’s champion, Sakura Yokomine, rising teen star Mamiko Higa and Erina Hara.
Season money leader Rikako Morita was still within shouting distance after her 1-over-par 73 left her tied for 14th.
The winner on Sunday will earn ¥12.6 million.