Big rally from Lewis bags her Mizuno Classic

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Big rally from Lewis bags her Mizuno Classic

SHIMA, Japan - Stacy Lewis of the United States shot an eight-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 Korea but birdied the last three holes to finish at 11-under 205 to win by one stroke.

“I don’t think I’ve ever come back from this far,” Lewis said. “I didn’t think the low numbers were out there until someone shot an eight-under yesterday. I just went out there today trying to make birdies and got 10 of them, which is pretty good.”

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 seven-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 Korea’s Park In-bee in the LPGA player of the year standings with two events left. Each win is worth 30 points. An American has not won the award since Beth Daniel in 1994.

Both Lewis and Park are to play in the final two LPGA events at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational and the CME Group Titleholders.

Park will need to win both tournaments while Lewis will need to finish below 10th in order for the Korean to jump ahead of the American in the player of the year standings.

“The money list for me is pretty much out of reach with two tournaments left,” Lewis said. “My goal for this year is player of the year, which forces In-bee to win the last two tournaments, so to have that pretty much locked up is pretty cool.”

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. World No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan was fourth on 209, while Anna Nordqvist of Sweden and three Koreans - Seo Hee-Kyung, Jenny Shin and U.S. Open champion Choi Na-Yeon - were tied at fifth place on 210.

Defending champion Ueda hit three birdies against four bogeys to finish tied on 27th place on 214, while two-time champion Shin Ji-Yai was tied on 14th place with 212.

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.”

AP, AFP
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