SHIMA: American Stacy Lewis hit a sizzling 64 for a one-stroke victory at the USLPGA Tour Mizuno Classic tournament on Sunday.
The 27-year-old American, starting the day seven strokes behind the pace in eighth place, hit 10 birdies against two bogeys for a three-round total of 11-under par 205 on the 6,506-yard, par 72 Kashikojima Country Club course.
“I played really solid yesterday, I just didn’t make any putts. But to make those three puts I made coming down the stretch was unbelievable,” said Lewis, who birdied the last three holes.
“I didn’t really think I was playing this well coming into the week but I just started playing better and better every day. Putts just started falling today and it was meant to be.”
It was her fourth title of the season following victories at the Navistar LPGA Classic, the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic, and fifth overall.
Lewis received the winner’s cheque of 180,000 dollars and stretched her lead over Park In-Bee in the Player of the Year standings.
“It’s nice. I was trying to win the tournament this week, but figured everything will just take care of itself,” said Lewis.
“I just got in my own way these past couple of weeks. These last two rounds, this is the most fun I’ve had all year. So it’s been a great couple of days.”
Both Lewis and Park are to play in the final two USLPGA events this season at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational and the CME Group Titleholders.
Park will need to win both tournaments while Lewis will need to finish below tenth in order for the Korean to jump ahead of the American in the Player of the Year standings.
Overnight leader Lee Bo-Mee of South Korea carded three birdies against three bogeys for an even par 72 to end as runner-up, followed by Japan’s first-round leader Ayako Uehara on 207.
World number one Yani Tseng of Taiwan was fourth on 209, while Anna Nordqvist of Sweden and three South Koreans — Seo Hee-Kyung, Jenny Shin and US Open champion Choi Na-Yeon — were tied at fifth place on 210.
Defending champion Momoko Ueda hit three birdies against four bogeys to finish tied on 27th place on 214, while two-time champion Shin Ji-Yai of South Korea was tied on 14th place with 212.