• Kyodo

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Ai Miyazato took full advantage of her commanding overnight lead to capture her first major title in Japan with a five-stroke victory at the Japan Women’s Open on Sunday.

News photoAi Miyazato is all smiles after winning the Japan Women’s Open by five shots on Sunday at
Totsuka Country Club West Course in Yokohama.

Miyazato, who teed off for the final round with a six-shot cushion, worked her way through a shaky stretch early on the back nine to complete a wire-to-wire win at 5-under-par 283 after firing a 1-over 73 at the Totsuka Country Club West Course.

Miyazato became the youngest winner in tournament history at 20 years and three months, breaking the previous record held by Hall of Famer Hisako Higuchi, who won in 1968 as a 23-year-old.

It was also Miyazato’s fourth title of the year and 10th overall on the Japan LPGA tour, making her the youngest player to reach double-digit career wins.

“I’m extremely happy but the pressure was huge, making me feel that it was a very long week,” said Miyazato.

The Japan Women’s Open crown was the latest of the ever-expanding title collection for the Okinawa native, which includes the inaugural World Cup she won with Japan teammate Rui Kitada in South Africa in February this year.

Akiko Fukushima shot an even-par 72 and finished second at 288.

Rookie Murota on top

ENIWA, Hokkaido (Kyodo) Senior tour rookie Kiyoshi Murota won the Japan Senior PGA Championship on Sunday after shooting a final-round 70 for a 13-under-par 275 total.

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