U.S. Women’s Open: Miyazato ready to lift Japan

Mika Miyazato could turn the U.S. Women’s Open into the feel-good story her disaster-ravaged country seeks and back it with cash.

Miyazato shot 67 to grab the lead at 5-under 137 at the halfway point Saturday at the Broadmoor, where rain once again stopped play early and brought up the prospect of a grueling 36-hole finale today.

She had a one-shot lead over Ai Miyazato, who is not related but is from the same city, Okinawa. When the Miyazatos return to the course, they will play in the final group together, each wearing red and white pins they created to raise awareness for the thousands of victims in a country ravaged by an earthquake, a tsunami and a resulting nuclear catastrophe.

The pins have Japanese characters that translate to "Never Give Up Japan."

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Ai Miyazato wins the third editon of the HSBC Women’s Champions Event

Japan’s Ai Miyazato has won the third edition of the HSBC Women’s Champions event.

A 69 in the final round to end 10 under for a 278 total saw Miyazato winning the title at Tanah Merah Country Club’s Garden course.

Miyazato, Japan’s No 1 golfer, continued her fine form in Singapore, holding the joint lead going into the final round.

High expectations meant nerves got the better of her, as she started the last round with two bogeys on the first two holes and two more on the back nine.

But the 24-year-old maintained her composure to end the day with seven birdies and lift the trophy plus the US$195,000 cheque.

The Okinawa native’s back-to-back wins was a record-breaking feat, as they were last achieved in 1966 on the LPGA Tour.

She also won the LPGA Thailand last week. Marilynn Smith was last player to win the first two events in a season, in 1966.

Miyazato said her plan was to win the Player of the Year title, but it’s still a long way to go, and she had only finished two tournaments.