She was the first Japanese born golfer to win on the LPGA tour this decade.
Momoko Ueda salutes her home crowd after winning the Mizuno Classic tournament in Japan.
The 21-year-old Ueda carded a closing five-under-par 66 in the third round to finish on 13-under 203 at the Kinetsu Kashikojima Country Club course and earn $210,000 for her first LPGA Tour victory.
Co-overnight leader Ueda, who won the right to play on the LPGA Tour next year, was caught by Hjorth after the first hole — which the Swede eagled.
But Ueda made an albatross two at the par-five seventh hole and extended her lead with a fourth birdie at the 16th.
Rankin and Hjorth, the 1999 champion, closed with 67s — as did fourth-placed Shinobu Moromizato, who finished on eight under.
English veteran Laura Davies, who was tied with Ueda for the second-round lead after a costly penalty, shot a 72 to tie for fifth at seven under along with Korea’s Mi Hyun Kim (71) and Japan’s Chie Arimura (70) and Mie Nakata (71).
The 44-year-old Davies was penalized two strokes on Saturday for putting from the wrong spot on the 14th hole.
It will be interesting to see if Ueda comes to play in the US. The much heralded Ai Miyazato has yet to win on the LPGA Tour.(Though I expect her to eventually) Japan hasn’t had a top LPGA player Ayako Okomoto who won 17 LPGA events between 1982 and 1992 and is now in the golf Hall of Fame.
*- Who was the last LPGA golfer to win a tournament when making a double eagle in the final round? Maybe I can ask an LPGA media official that question at the upcoming ADT Championship.
*- Davies lapse was certainly an accident.
*- Talking about the ADT Championship, the Contstructivist has Reilly Rankin moving into the top 13 for ADT points based on her 2nd place finish at the Mizuno. I still think Annika will make the field.
A win or very strong finishes by Joo Mi Kim, Catorina Matthew and Morgan Francella each could knock her out. The chances are pretty long for this to happen.
1- Karen Stupples double eagled the first hole at the 2004 British women’s open. She is probably the last golfer to win a tournament while making an albatros during the final round.
2- Francella and Matthew moving ahead of Annika on the ADT points list wouldn’t knock the Swede out of the tournament. Because Francella and Matthew are the only golfers keeping Annika from making it via the money list.
That would leave the longshot scenario of a Julieta Granada and Joo Mi Kim win or top three finish with Annika finishing far back. Again not likely to happen.
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