Japans Miyazato wins Safeway Classic
20 Aug 2012 - 04:16:55
Japan's Mika Miyazato claimed her first LPGA Tour title by winning the Safeway Classic with a closing two-under 70 to beat Inbee Park and Brittany Lincicome by two shots.
The 22-year-old Miyazato finished at 13-under 203 for a wire-to-victory on Pumpkin Ridge's Ghost Creek Course.
She shared the first-round lead and had a two-shot advantage after the second.
Lincicome shot a final round five-under 67, and Park had a two-under 70.
Miyazato, who earned $225,000 in first-place money, is in her fourth season on the LPGA Tour. She is the sixth first-time winner this year and finally broke through for the victory after two second-place finishes earlier this year.
South Korea's Haeji Kang shot the best round of the day with a 66. She tied for fourth at 10 under with Cristie Kerr (70) and So Yeon Ryu (71). Sydnee Michaels, the first round co-leader, was four strokes back after a 70.
Michelle Wie posted her first top-10 finish of 2012, shooting a 69 to finish alone in eighth place.
World number one Yani Tseng shot a disappointing final round of 73 to finish at six under. China's Feng Shanshan was three under after a 70.
Miyazato breezed through the front nine, and took a three-stroke lead into the back nine. But a bogey at No. 10 allowed four players to pull within a shot of the lead. The bogey was Miyazato's first in 40 holes.
But no one was able to catch Miyazato. She gave herself more breathing room with a five-foot birdie putt at short par-four 17th for a two-stroke lead.
Park made five birdies in an eight-hole stretch. She missed a six-foot eagle putt on 17 that would have given her a share of the lead with Miyazato.
Lincicome birdied the final two holes in her bogey-free round.
Kang made eight birdies, and moved into contention on the back nine, pulling within one stroke of the lead with a birdie at the par-three 16th. Her chances disappeared with a double bogey on 17.