HANNO, Saitama Pref. – Ai Miyazato capped another impressive week in style Sunday, shooting a 5-under-par 67 to win the Hisako Higuchi IDC Otsuka Ladies by seven strokes for her fifth victory of the year.
Miyazato, who started off the final round with a four-shot lead, was unnerved by a front-nine charge from Nikki Campbell and put together five birdies in a blemish-free round en route to a 14-under 202 total at Musashigaoka Golf Course.
The victory, Miyazato’s career 11th on the Japan LPGA tour, was worth 12.6 million yen and leapfrogged the 20-year-old past Yuri Fudo back into the top of the money list.
“I had to keep my patience until a birdie finally came on the eighth, which got my round going,” Miyazato said. “I was trying to pick up at least four shots today and it was a good round, indeed.”
“This title means a lot to me because I got it just when I’m thinking so much about the upcoming qualifier for the U.S tour,” added Miyazato, who will play in the final qualifying round for the U.S. LPGA Tour beginning in late November.
In the final round, Miyazato parred the first seven holes before a superb 6-iron gave her her first birdie of the day on the par-3 eighth hole. She then pulled away by reeling off four birdies in a seven-hole stretch from the 10th with sparkling iron play on a day when she missed just one green in regulation.
Campbell briefly threatened Miyazato with five birdies in a front-nine 31 but failed to keep her momentum after the turn and finished tied for second at 7-under 209. The Australian matched Miyazato with the day’s low round of 67.
Tour rookie Shinobu Moromizato, who was appearing in only her third tournament as a pro, fired a 68 and joined Campbell, Kaori Higo (70) and Taiwan’s Julie Lu (70) in second place.
Moromizato all but secured an exemption on the tour for the next year. The 19-year-old is also bound for the final U.S. LPGA qualifier along with Miyazato.
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