• Kyodo


Former women’s world No. 1 Ai Miyazato is hoping to break her major hoodoo at the Women’s PGA Championship starting on Thursday in Illinois.

Miyazato, who last month announced she is retiring at the end of this season, has won nine titles on the LPGA Tour but a major title has so far eluded the 32-year-old.

Miyazato finished in a four-way tie for 66th at the NW Arkansas Championship last weekend, her first LPGA event in around two months.

But she can take confidence from the fact that she has been in title contention at this tournament before, finishing third in 2006 and 2010.

“I want to deliver results,” Miyazato said after tuning up at the Olympia Fields Country Club. “The (hole) distances are long and the greens are difficult too.

“I went around the course today thinking how much I love the difficulty and tactical nature of the majors,” said the Okinawan star.

Looking ahead to the tournament, Miyazato’s compatriot Harukyo Nomura, who has one win on the LPGA Tour this season, said: “I am not in bad shape. I will focus on each shot as it comes.”

Ayako Uehara, Nasa Hataoka and Sakura Yokomine are also taking part in the tournament.

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