Miyazato steers Japan to World Cup victory

  • Other Sport
  • Tuesday, 15 Feb 2005

GEORGE (South Africa): Ai Miyazato masterminded victory for Japan in the Women's World Cup of Golf on Sunday, firing a brilliant six-under-final day 67 in the individual medal over The Links course at Fancourt. 

The diminutive 19-year-old broke the course record on arguably Africa's most punishing layout, where the other 39 players in action on Saturday were a cumulative 157 over par. 

Japan finished on a grand total of three-under-par 289, made up of 68 in the opening fourballs on Friday, 72 in Saturday's foursomes and the individual medal returns on Sunday of 67 by Miyazato and 82 by her partner Rui Kitada. 

South Korea and the Philippines shared second place on 291 with Scotland fourth on 292. 

TOP OF THE WORLD: Japan's Ai Miyazato (left) and Rui Kitada hold their trophy after they won the inargural Women's World Cup of Golf in South Africa on Sunday.- AFPpic

“That was the best round of my life,” said Miyazato.  

“I can't explain how happy and proud we feel.  

“I'm sure the whole of Japan is proud of us. We were surprised when we first came here to discover how difficult the course is. 

“But it was a rich experience playing it, and we'll be back next year to defend our title.” 

Miyazato won five tournaments in her rookie year on the Japanese LPGA Tour in 2004, becoming the first Japanese teenager in any sport to earn over one million dollars.  

Her father is a golf coach, and she has two brothers who are touring professionals.        

And if ever there was proof that Asia is the place where golf is growing fastest, this was it as South Korea (Keong Jang and Bo Bae Song) and the Philippines (Jennifer Rosales and Dorthy Delasin) finished joint second on 291. – AFP  

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