Japan Captures Womens World Cup

By Sports NetworkFebruary 13, 2005, 5:00 pm
2005 WomenGEORGE, South Africa -- The Japanese team combined for 3-over 149 in Sunday's final round, but it was enough to give them the win at the Women's World Cup of Golf. They finished with a three-round total of 3-under-par 289, which was good for a two-shot win.
Sunday's format was stroke-play where both players' scores counted toward the team total.
Teenage star Ai Miyazato fired a 6-under 67 on Sunday and needed that low score. Her partner Rui Kitada was awful on the back nine as she posted a 7-over 44. She finished with a 9-over 82 as the team nearly squandered a four-shot lead on the second nine.
'That front nine was probably the best nine holes I have ever played,' said Miyazato. 'We tried to help each other and I tried to concentrate on my game and that is the way it. When Rui was starting to go down, I tried to bring myself up.'
Jennifer Rosales shot a 2-under 71 and her partner Dorothy Delasin carded a 2-over 75 to give the team from the Philippines the best round on Sunday, an even-par 146.
They tied for second with Korea at 1-under-par 291. The Korean tandem of Jang Jeong (74) and Bo Bae Song (75) posted a 3-over-par 149 in Sunday's final round.
The Japanese team built a four-stroke lead after Miyazato collected her third consecutive birdie at the ninth hole. Kitada, who was 2 over on her front nine, fell apart on the back side and brought everyone back into the tournament.
Miyazato birdied the 10th to extend the margin, but Kitada triple bogeyed the 11th and bogeyed No. 12. Miyazato made her first mistake of the round with a bogey at the par-5 13th and Kitada dropped another shot at the 14th to trim the lead to two.
Kitada took care of that cushion with a double bogey at 15. She bogeyed the 16th also, the Korean team fell in front of them and the Philippines were in the clubhouse at minus-1.
Three teams were knotted in first at 1 under par, but the Japanese team finally played well on the back nine. At the difficult par-3 17th, Miyazato knocked her tee ball to 2 feet setting up birdie and Kitada had 10 feet for her two. She rolled in the putt and Miyazato tapped in her birdie try to give the team a two-shot lead with one to play.
Both managed pars at the last to give Japan the $200,000 first-place check to split.
'That putt on 17 was probably the biggest one for me in my career,' said Kitada. 'I kept missing the short ones all day. It was so difficult and so tough. Ai was playing well and I really felt like I was just pulling her leg, I really felt terrible. The putt on 17 really saved me and saved the team.'
Scotland, who shared the second-round lead with Japan, combined for a 6-over 152 on Sunday. Catriona Matthew (72) and Janice Moodie (80) finished in fourth place at even-par 292.
Karrie Webb (74) and Rachel Hetherington (77) from Australia took fifth place at 2-over-par 294.
Dawn Coe-Jones carded an even-par 73 on Sunday and teamed with fellow Canadian Lorie Kane, who shot a 77, to post a 150 in the final round. They tied for sixth with Wales' Becky Morgan (73) and Becky Brewerton (78) at plus-3.
The U.S. team of Meg Mallon and Beth Daniel dropped all the way down to 14th after a disappointing final-round 12-over 158.
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