Taiwan’s Teresa Lu (盧曉晴) won the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Mizuno Classic yesterday, making birdies on the last two holes and six of the final eight for an eight-under 64 and a two-stroke victory.
The 25-year-old Lu, a regular on the Japan Tour after giving up her LPGA Tour membership in 2010, finished at 14-under 202 at a wet and windy Kintetsu Kashikojima.
“I’ve been waiting for this day for so long,” Lu said. “This is my first win. It’s been eight years on tour. I’m really happy. Really nervous and really happy.”
Lu has three runner-up finishes and 13 top 10s this season on the Japan Tour.
“Beginning of this year, I got into two playoffs and in both of them, I lose,” Lu said. “I guess I really learned from that and just tried to be calm.”
South Korea’s Chella Choi, tied with Lu with two holes to play, had a 66 to finish second.
“I had very good confidence today,” Choi said. “I just think: ‘OK, one putt, just one stroke.’ So I think birdie and focus. I don’t know why, not nervous. Good experience for me. Disappointed, but satisfied.”
Japanese players took the next five spots. Mamiko Higa and Yuki Ichinose shot 70 to tie for third at 10-under, Yumiko Yoshida (68) and Shiho Oyama (71) followed at nine-under, while Asako Fujimoto (71) was at eight-under.
Stacy Lewis of the US tied for eighth at seven-under. The world No. 3 was the top-ranked player in the field.
“I could have made some putts earlier, I just couldn’t seem to make any putts, but to shoot two-under in this wind is a good score,” Lewis said.
“It’s pretty crazy what those two [Lu and Choi] are doing today,” Lewis added.
Brittany Lincicome of the US, a stroke off the lead entering the final day, had a 77 to tie for 29th at two-under.
Taiwan’s other competitor, Candie Kung (龔怡萍), finished tied for 72nd place on six-over after a 74.
Additional reporting by staff writer