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
“(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.