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Golf Australia Express : Issue 16
LOW SCORES, a three-hole playoff, an international leaderboard and a sore head for one sorry spectator—the Mizuno Classic at Japan’s Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club had it all. In the end it was now two-time LPGA winner Momoko Ueda who had the goods, her playoff win earning the local golfer the largest slice of the $1.2 million prize purse. Joined by China’s Shanshan Feng at 16-under at the end of 54 holes, the world No.81 eventually triumphed on the third visit to the 18th, nailing a clutch 15-foot putt after the two had traded pars at the first two playoff holes. Ueda carded a final round 3-under 69 claim her second Mizuno Classic title, the first of which came in 2007. Earlier in the day, however, a bogey at the seventh threatened to derail Ueda’s conquest. But fortune was on the side of the 25-year- old as an errant drive at the ninth ricocheted off a fan’s head and bounced back into the fairway. Ueda birdied the hole while the fan was merely seeing birdies. “The man told me he was OK and said, ‘I just want to see you play. I don’t have time to go to the hospital. Just do your best,’” Ueda told reporters after the round. And buoyed by her injured countryman, Ueda found her rhythm and two more birdies to match Feng atop the leaderboard. Feng’s path to the playoff was no less eventful. Starting the day four shots off the lead, she ripped through the course with a 7-under 65 to charge into a share of the lead. “It was my first playoff ever in my life,” said Feng, who earned her second career runner-up finish on the LPGA Tour. “ The third time we played that hole, she made a good putt to win and I feel happy for her. This was her week.” South Korean Na Yeon Choi posted a final round 8-under to finish third at 15-under, leaving Taiwan’s Teresa Lu and Scotland’s Catriona Matthew in a tie for fourth at 13-under. Ueda earned $180,000 for the win and moved to 33rd on the money list. OTG WHAT JUST HAPPENED ON THE LPGA TOUR WRAP THE FINAL STANDINGS 1 MOMOKO UEDA JPN -16 $180,000 2 SHANSHAN FENG CHN -16 $109,523 3 NA YEON CHOI KOR -15 $79,451 T4 CATRIONA MATTHEW SCO -13 $55,466 T4 TERESA LU TWN -13 $55,466 T6 STACY LEWIS USA -12 $34,679 T6 MINA HARIGAE USA -12 $34,679 T6 SAKURA YOKOMINE JPN -12 $34,679 T9 CHRISTEL BOELJON NET -10 $23,610 T9 JIYAI SHIN KOR -10 $23,610 T9 ESTHER LEE KOR -10 $23,610 T9 I.K.KIM KOR -10 $23,610 MOMOKO TAKES OUT MIZUNO