• Kyodo

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Overnight leader Yuko Mitsuka shot an even-par 72 to win her third career title at the season-opening Daikin Orchid Ladies on Sunday.

Mitsuka, whose previous victory came at Nichirei PGM Ladies last June, had five birdies canceled by as many bogeys on her way to 8-under-par 208 for a two-shot victory at Ryukyu Golf Club.

“I’ve never experienced such nervousness in a tournament before. I really didn’t know what the heck I was doing at some points,” Mitsuka said.

The 24-year-old got off to a flying start with a birdie from about 6 feet on the par-4 first hole and picked up another shot on the fourth before faltering with her first bogey of the day on the next.

Mitsuka also put together birdies on Nos. 7, 11 and 12 but struggled with her putts particularly on the back nine where she had back-to-back bogeys from the 14th. She pulled it together to make par on her last three holes.

“I’m really relieved to have won the title. I want to continue winning in this way from now on,” said Mitsuka.

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