Published — Sunday 4 November 2012
Last update 5 November 2012 1:00 am
SHIMA, Japan: Stacy Lewis of the United States shot an 8-under 64 yesterday to win the Mizuno Classic for her fourth LPGA title of the season.
Lewis, who carded 10 birdies against two bogeys at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club, started the final round seven strokes back of overnight leader Lee Bo-mee of South Korea but birdied the last three holes to finish at 11-under 205 to win by one stroke.
“It was pretty unexpected to make those last three birdies,” Lewis said. “They were all pretty long putts so it wasn’t easy.”
Lee had three bogeys and three birdies for a 72 to finish in second place.
Lewis made a 25-foot birdie putt on 16 then moved into a tie with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-3 17th. She took sole possession of the lead with another 25-foot birdie putt on the last hole then claimed the $180,000 winner’s prize when Lee’s long birdie putt on 18 went long.
“I knew I was a ways back,” Lewis said. “I thought if I got to 10-under it would be close. To shoot a 64 on the final day is always good.”
Japan’s Ayako Uehara shot a 67 to finish two strokes back while Taiwanese star Yani Tseng had a 68 to finish in fourth place at 7-under 209.
Lewis has also won this season at the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic in April, the ShopRite LPGA Classic in June and the Navistar LPGA Classic in September.
Sunday’s win allowed Lewis to move 58 points ahead of South Korea’s Inbee Park in the LPGA player of the year standings. Each win is worth 30 points.
Park, who opened the LPGA Tour’s Asian swing with a victory in Malaysia and finished second last week in Taiwan, finished with a 70 which left her tied for 17th.
Defending champion Momoko Ueda of Japan shot a 73 to finish tied for 27th.
It was a disappointing result for Lee, who started the final round with a four-stroke lead and could have earned status for the LPGA next season with a win.
“I’m disappointed with today’s round,” said Lee, who won her first title on Japan’s tour at the Yokohama Tire PRGR Ladies Cup in March, beating compatriot Ahn Sun-ju in a playoff. “I didn’t give myself enough chances for birdies.”