Mika Miyazato made a name for herself in the Safeway Classic.
Long stuck in fellow Japanese player Ai Miyazato’s shadow, Mika Miyazato won her first LPGA Tour title yesterday, finishing with a 2-under 70 to beat Brittany Lincicome and Inbee Park by two strokes.
Punahou graduate Michelle Wie earned her first top-10 finish of the season, shooting a 69 during Sunday’s final round to finish eighth at 8 under.
“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.”
Ai Miyazato, a nine-time LPGA Tour winner, ran on the 18th green to congratulate Mika Miyazato after the breakthrough victory. She is the 11th Japanese player to win on the LPGA Tour and the third to win the event, following Ayaka Okamoto in 1986 and Ai Miyazato in 2010.
“It is very fulfilling for me to win along with those other famous players,” Mika Miyazato said.
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 edge after the second.
Lincicome closed with a 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. Since June, she has had six top-10 finishes, including second-place ties in the NW Arkansas Championship and LPGA Championship.
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.