CHONBURI, THAILAND | Japan’s Ai Miyazato closed
with a 9-under-par 63 Sunday on Siam Country
Club’s Old Course to rally from a six-stroke deficit
and edge Norway’s Suzann Pettersen in the LPGA
Tour’s season-opening Honda PTT LPGA Thailand.
Miyazato, who was 10-under par in her final
16 holes and 21-under 267 for the tournament,
chipped-in for birdie at 18 to clinch her second-
career LPGA victory and deny Petterson, the 2007
champion, a title that seemed destined to be hers.
Pettersen shot 70 Sunday to finish at 268.
“I was trying to focus on every single shot and not
trying to win or get a low score,” said Miyazato, who
won last year’s Evian Masters.“ Just every single
shot, try to hit the fairway, hit the green and make
some putts. It was really simple, but under the pres-
sure it was really difficult to do. I did it well.”
Miyazato, 24 and ranked No. 8 in the world,
earned $195,000 for the victory in the limited-field
event. Pettersen, 28, who carried a five-shot lead
into the last round, earned $125,840.
“There’s nothing I can do when Ai shoots 9
under,” said Pettersen. “I played pretty good golf. I
don’t waste much energy thinking of why I didn’t win
it. For me, it was a great start to the season.”
Pettersen was dominant over the first three
rounds, playing her first 62 holes without a bogey.
But unlike 2007, when she took a seven-shot lead
into the final round over Laura Davies, lost it, and fi-
nally won the tournament with an eagle on the 18th,
the Norwegian couldn’t pull it off this time.
“I didn’t think I would win today, five shots behind
Suzann,” Miyazato said. “She was playing really well. I
feel really lucky about today. But I really worked hard
in the off-season, and I think it’s paid off this week.”
World No. 1 Lorena Ochoa closed with a 72 and
wound up T18. Michelle Wie closed with a 69 (T22). l
From Staff and Wire Reports
HONDA p TT LpgA THAILAND
Click for results
Can Shin Conquer
CHONBURI, THAILAND | This week
the LPGA travels to Singapore for the
third-annual HSBC Women’s Champi-
ons. Jiyai Shin, the 2009 Louise Suggs
Rolex Rookie of the Year, will defend
her title at Tanah Merah Country Club,
while inaugural winner and Rolex
Rankings No. 1 Lorena Ochoa hopes to
record her first win of 2010. The field
features 19 of the top 20 on the Rolex
Rankings and 54 of the top 55 from the
2009 LPGA money list.
LPGA veteran Laura Davies shot
7-under-par 65 on Sunday in Thailand
to tie for sixth. The 20-time LPGA
winner started the day with an eagle
at the par- 5 first hole and turned at
4-under-par 32 for the day.
Ochoa had a busy off-season. The
highlight was her marriage in Decem-
ber to Aeromexico Airlines CEO Andres
Conesa in Guadalajara. “We decided
not to have very many people from the
outside, so we didn’t have any LPGA
professionals. It was just some rela-
tives and very, very close friends,” she
said. Ochoa also relocated to Mexico
City with Conesa and his three children,
ages 14, 12 and 7. Asked if she wants
kids of her own, she said, “I still think
I want to wait a little bit. I’m going to
keep playing for a few years, and then
after that we’ll make a decision.”
Paula Creamer withdrew prior to the
second round. According to IMG, her
management company, Creamer pulled
out “due to a left-hand injury, some-
thing which plagued her during much
of last season.” Creamer headed back
to the U.S. to seek medical attention,
and her status for this week’s HSBC
Women’s Champions in Singapore and
future events is unknown.
Second-year LPGA member Stacy
Lewis has high expectations for her
game. Lewis finished 47th on the 2009
LPGA money list with nearly $300,000.
After graduating from the University
of Arkansas in 2008, Lewis turned
professional and tied for third at the
U.S. Women’s Open, her career-best
finish. As an amateur in 2007, Lewis
held the 18-hole lead at the LPGA
Northwest Arkansas Championship
before the event was rain-shortened
and eventually cancelled.
Thursday’s first rounds featured eight
eagles, including two on par-4s. I.K.
Kim eagled the par- 4 11th with an
8-iron from 126 yards, while Angela
Stanford eagled the par- 4 14th with
an 8-iron from 153 yards. One was not
enough for Kim, however. In the third
round, the two-time LPGA winner
eagled the 316-yard 15th hole with a
sand wedge from 79 yards.
South Korean Amy Yang carded a
career-low, 7-under-par 65 Saturday.
Aided by four consecutive birdies from
holes four through seven, the 20-year-
old topped her previous career best,
a final-round 66 at the CVS Pharmacy
Challenge last year. l