• Kyodo


Former world No. 1 Ai Miyazato, who will retire from golf at the end of the season, placed 13th at the Ladies Scottish Open on Sunday, her best performance of the season.

Miyazato entered the final round 10 strokes off the lead and carded four birdies against a single bogey in a round of 69, giving her a 72-hole, 1-over 289 total. Her compatriot Harukyo Nomura finished tied for 23rd with seven others at 4-over.

South Korea’s Lee Mi-hyang overcame a six-shot deficit to snatch victory with a final-round 66, leaving her at 6-under for the tournament. The 24-year-old Lee matched the day’s low round to post her second career victory on the U.S. tour and first in three seasons.

The last time Miyazato ranked among the top 20 in a U.S. LPGA tour tournament was in April 2016, when she placed 18th at the ANA Inspiration. She placed sixth at the Chukyo TV Bridgestone Ladies Open on the Japan tour in May.

On Sunday, the 32-year-old Okinawa native extricated herself from a pot bunker to get up and down with a pressure 13-foot par putt on the par-5 third and snagged her first birdie of the day on the following par-3.

“There was little wind and I teed off thinking I could improve my score. I was able to play good golf,” said Miyazato.

“The tap-in birdie on No. 4 got my rhythm going. I had a lot of missed shots on the back nine but I’m glad I finished off with a birdie. I’ve been in good condition so I’m looking forward to the British Open next week,” she said.

Miyazato will get her second last chance to earn a career major title at the British Open which gets under way Aug. 3 at St. Andrews. The fifth and final major on the U.S. women’s tour is the Evian Championship in mid-September.

“What am I aiming for? Of course a win. I hope to carry on this momentum,” said Miyazato.

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