Miyazato grabs share of LPGA Canadian Open lead

26 Aug 2011 07:30

Ai Miyazato and Pernilla Lindberg fired seven-under 65s on soggy greens to share the lead in the Canadian Women's Open, with crowd favourite Samantha Richdale of Canada a shot back.

Defending champion Michelle Wie was two shots adrift after shooting a five under 67 at the Hillsdale Gold Club course just outside of Montreal, on Thursday.

Richdale opened with a 66 and another stroke back was Angela Stanford, Jenny Shin and South Korea's Kim Mi-hyun.

"I did have expectations coming into this season but there was the earthquake and it had a bit of affect on me on and off the golf course," said Miyazato who won five titles in 2010. "But since around June I started feeling very good about my game and I was able to win at Evian, so I'm feeling very relaxed now."

Wie rolled in a 60-foot birdie putt on the par-five fifth hole. She also closed with a 45-foot putt for birdie on her final hole.

She has two career titles with one of those coming in Winnipeg, Canada at the St. Charles event.

Miyazato fashioned a bogey-free round and finished it off with an eight foot birdie putt on the 18th.

"I had a really good feeling with my swing tempo and that's why I had so many birdie opportunities," Miyazato said. "My distance control was really good and my putting as well."

Richdale is in her second year on the tour.

"Just over a month ago I went to see Dave Stockton to work on my putting and today, my caddie (Tom Konopacki) and I just read some really good and I made them," Richdale said. "It's special. I had my brother (Josh) in the crowd, which was really nice."

Sweden's Lindberg posted one bogey and eight birdies.

"I was driving it great, barely missed a fairway, and felt easy with my irons," said Lindberg. "But the best part was my putting."

Wie has changed her game to try and get into the winner's circle. She now uses a belly putter which allows her to stand more upright when she is putting.

"You know, I like my putter," she said. "Over the last couple of weeks I've been toying with different grips and different ways to do it. But it's feeling pretty good and I've got to keep working on it. Putting is something I always need to work on. Obviously, making two long putts helps the score. Hopefully, I can make a couple more of them over the next couple of days."