Miyazato edges Pettersen in LPGA opener

Japan’s Ai Miyazato shot a 9-under-par 63 on Sunday to win

the season-opening Honda PTT LPGA Thailand by one shot over 2007

champ Suzann Pettersen. Miyazato, who was 10 under par in her final

16 holes, chipped in for birdie at 18 to clinch her second career

LPGA victory.

“(I) was trying to focus on every single shot and not

trying to win or get a low score,” said Miyazato. “Just

every single shot, try to hit the fairway, hit the green and make

some putts. It was really simple, but under the pressure it was

really difficult to do. I did it well.”

Miyazato entered Sunday five shots behind overnight leader

Pettersen, but used a six-hole stretch to erase that deficit and

turn Sunday’s final round at Siam Country Club’s Old

Course into a two-player sprint to the finish.

Miyazato started her day with a bogey at two, but got it back

with a birdie at three. The 24-year-old then went 6 under from

holes six through 11 to move one shot behind Pettersen. The

Norwegian, who was 1-under-par 35 on her front nine with a bogey at

nine, extended the lead back to two shots with a 12-foot birdie at

10.

Miyazato then birdied 13 and 15 to lock the pair at 20 under

par. Pettersen then missed her eight-foot par putt at 16 while

Miyazato chipped in from 10 yards behind the pin at 18 for a

two-shot swing. Pettersen’s 72nd-hole eagle effort slid by

the hole, but she tapped in for birdie to take runner-up honors by

a stroke.

“There’s nothing I can do when Ai shoots 9

under,” said Pettersen. “I played pretty good golf and

I don’t waste much energy thinking of why I didn’t win

it. For me, it was a great start.”

For Miyazato, the win is her second in two seasons. She banks

$195,000 for the victory . Last season, Miyazato had a career year,

pocketing over $1.5 million with 13 top-10 finishes.