Portland, Oregon (August 19, 2012)-Miyazato is a familiar name to find on top of the LPGA leader board but this weekend the Safeway Classic was won not by the more well known Ai Miyazato, but by her countrywoman Mika Miyazato (no relation). For Mika Miyazato it was her 79th attempt at an LPGA title and one she was able to secure with a final round of 70 to finish at -13.
The 54-hole event is a favorite for the tour players with the incredible layout of Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course playing host. Playing to just over 6600 yards, Miyazato played the par 72 course in spectacular fashion posting rounds of 65-68-70.
Miyazato is in her fourth year on tour and is currently ranked 19th on the Rolex World Ranking. She has been one of the most consistent players the past few months with 2T at the Wegman’s LPGA Championship and then another runner-up finish the following week in Arkansas. The past six events she has only finished out of the top ten once.
Sleeping on the lead didn’t seem to faze the Japanese player who never really struggled throughout the round despite a late charge by Brittany Lincicome. Lincicome shot a 67 to finish two shots behind Miyazato though she put some pressure on her as she finished with two birdies. For Miyazato her lone bogey of the day came on the 10th hole and was only her second of the tournament.
World No. 1 Yani Tseng saw a resurgence in her game as she finished -6, posting two of her three rounds under par. Tseng has been in a bit of a slump the past few months as she has struggled missing three of the last four cuts. Her last top ten came at the Sybase Match Play Championship in May. Though she struggled in the final round with a 73, flashes of the old Yani were seen the past few days as well as her infectious smile which has been missing as well.
Michelle Wie had her best finish on the year as she shot 69-70-69 to claim solo 8th. Despite the lackluster year Wie has done her best to stay positive and this weekend she also showed glimpses of her former self. Perhaps it was the new blond hair or the knee high socks, but maybe the Stanford grad is finally turning the corner as she was able to string together three solid rounds.
”It feels good to get on the leaderboard and see my name up there consistently this week,” Wie said. ”It was a lot of fun.”
Miyazato credited her improving short game as the reason for her win.
‘At the beginning of the season, my short game was no good. I try to work more on short game,” Miyazato said after the final round. ”My golf game is getting better. I have more confidence in my golf game.”
The LPGA travels north to the Vancouver area next weekend for the CN Canadian Women’s Open. Brittany Lincicome is the defending champion.