Mika Miyazato wins first LPGA title
Sunday, August 19, 2012
NORTH PLAINS, Ore. — Japan's Mika Miyazato won the Safeway Classic on Sunday for her first victory on the LPGA Tour, finishing with a 2-under 70 to beat Brittany Lincicome and Inbee Park by two strokes.
The 22-year-old Miyazato finished at 13-under 203 in her 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 67, and Park had a 70.
The 22-year-old Miyazato, in her fourth season on the LPGA Tour, is the sixth first-time winner this year. She broke through after a pair second-place ties in June.
South Korea's Haeji Kang had a 66 — the best round of the day, to tie 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 had her first top-10 finish of the season, shooting a 69 to finish eighth at 8 under.
Top-ranked Yani Tseng faded with a 73 to finish at 6 under. Paula Creamer was 3 under after a 76.
Miyazato was cruising on the front nine, and took a three-stroke lead into the back nine. But a bogey at No. 10 — her first in 40 holes — helped bring four players within a stroke of the lead down the stretch.
No one was able to pull even with Miyazato, who gave herself some insurance with a 5-foot birdie putt at short par-4 17th for a two-stroke lead.
Park made five birdies in an eight-hole stretch. She missed a 6-foot eagle putt on 17 that would have given her a share of the lead.
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-3 16th. But Kang's bid came apart at the 17th when she tried to drive the green and went into the water, leading to a double bogey.
Miyazato earned $225,000.