Miyazato wins ShopRite takes over top ranking

By Associated PressJune 21, 2010, 4:13 am

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GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J – Ai Miyazato has much in common with Lorena Ochoa.

They’re both humble, friendly, competitive, and one other thing. They know what it feels like to be called the world’s best women’s golfer.

Miyazato climbed to the summit on Sunday, shooting a 7-under 64 to win the $1.5 million ShopRite LPGA Classic by two strokes over M.J. Hur of South Korea on Seaview’s Bay Course, just miles from the Atlantic City casino resort.

It was the fourth win in nine events this year for Miyazato, who is finally living up to the expectations thrust on her in 2006 when she made the move from Japan to the LPGA Tour. The 25-year-old now has five wins in the last two season, and she is starting to dominate in a way akin to Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam.

“When I started playing in the States, that’s when I really started thinking about being No. 1,” Miyazato said after giving herself a belated (Saturday) birthday present. “That became a dream of mine, especially watching Annika (Sorenstam) and Lorena play. Now that I am No. 1, I still can’t believe it, but I do feel very comfortable with it.”

The Rolex women’s rankings won’t be announced until Monday, but the LPGA said Miyazato will be No. 1.

“Ai is not only one of the greatest golfers out here, but she is such a good person,” said Paula Creamer, who threatened for two rounds and faded (71) to seventh in her first tournament since surgery on her left thumb in March.

“Japan should be so proud because she represents her country to the highest level,” Creamer said. And you know, I know Ai really well. She’s a good friend of mine, so to see her succeed, and when she went through that rough patch a couple years ago, it’s amazing how she’s totally overcome all of that.”

Miyazato was machinelike in the final round of the 54-hole tournament. Trailing Hur by two shots, she had a piece of the lead after making a 15-foot birdie at No. 2 and a tap-in on the par-5 third hole. A 3-foot birdie on No. 9 gave her sole possession of the lead and she opened daylight with a 15-footer on No. 10 and a 30-footer for birdie on the 14th hole.

The birdie on 10 came after she played out of a fairway bunker.

“I believe in myself and the game and no matter what the situation is or the pressure is I feel like I can play my game,” said Miyazato, who had seven birdies and no bogeys over the final 18 holes.

While the winning margin was two shots, it was really never that close. Hur, the second-round leader, had to birdie the final three holes just to get second place.

Even when the 20-year-old Hur, who was playing in the group behind Miyazato, drew to within two shots with birdies at Nos. 16 and 17, the Japanese star responded. She hit her third shot within 10 feet and made the birdie.

Miyazato had a final total of 16-under 197 to earn a winner’s check of $225,000, pushing her earnings this year to $830,238.

Her earlier wins this year were in Thailand, Singapore and Mexico. Her first LPGA win came last year in France.

Miyazato will replace Jiyai Shin of South Korea atop the rankings. Shin has missed the last two tournaments after undergoing an appendectomy. She hopes to return to the tour in next week’s LPGA Championship in Rochester, N.Y.

Shin took over the top spot after Ochoa retired earlier this year to focus on starting a family.

The thought of becoming No. 1 distracted Miyazato in recent weeks and it led to her missing the cut in last weekend’s State Farm Classic. She had a long talk with her caddie Mike Seaborn on Wednesday.

“We had a really good talk about the world rank, and what I need to do to focus right now,” Miyazato said. “So that’s why I got so clear about this week and started again focus my swing and every single shot.”

Hur, who led the State Farm Classic after 36 holes last week before faltering and slipped to a tie for 16th, got a chance to play against Miyazato recently in the second round of the Sybase Classic, a match play event.

“She’s just gorgeous,” said Hur, who was looking for her second career win. “She hits straight and has good putts, so I think she plays really simple. I want to be playing that, too.”

Fellow South Korean Inbee Park, the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open champion, had a final-round 67 and finished third at 12 under, four shots behind the winner.

Suzann Pettersen of Norway, South Korea’s Hee-Won Han and Katherine Hull of Australia shared fourth place at 11 under, one shot ahead of Creamer.


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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.