• Kyodo


Mika Miyazato fell short in a bid to put herself back into contention Sunday, finishing tied for eighth at the Navistar LPGA Classic.

On her 21st birthday, the lesser-known Miyazato shot a 2-under 70 to finish at 15-under 273, four strokes behind winner Katherine Hull of Australia.

Miyazato, who started the day four shots off the pace, three-putted from 13 feet to bogey the opening hole at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Capitol Hill complex.

She made birdies at Nos. 6, 13 and 14 but those were not enough to zoom up the leaderboard when other players were shooting incredibly low scores such as 63 (Lindsey Wright) and 65 (Brittany Lincicome).

“I couldn’t play well enough because the greens were very firm today, but I still think I was able to stay patient,” Miyazato said. “To win on the U.S. LPGA Tour, you need an amazingly low score. Now I’ve grown confident that I have a potential to do that.”

The Okinawa native won her first pro career title last week at the Japan Women’s Open, one of the four majors in the country, and shot a tournament record-tying 63 in the second round this week that put her in a three-way tie for the lead.

“In America, you’re considered an adult at age 21” Miyazato said. “Without forgetting about being aggressive, I’d like to play with maturity.”

Hull closed with a 67 for a one-shot victory over Lincicome.

Cristie Kerr (72) blew a three-shot overnight lead and shared third with Na Yeon Choi (69) a shot further back.

Ai Miyazato could only manage a 72 that left her tied for 27th at 9 under. She mixed five birdies with three bogeys and one double bogey.

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