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Golf - 06. March 2010.

Miyazato wins HSBC Champions

Japan's Ai Miyazato shot 69 in the final round of the third-annual HSBC Women's Champions to win the second-consecutive event of the 2010 LPGA season. The 24-year-old's 72-hole tally of 10-under-par 278 was two shots better than Cristie Kerr, who finished alone in second at 8-under-par 280. With the victory, Miyazato becomes the first player since LPGA Founder Marilynn Smith in 1966, a span of 44 years, to win consecutive season-opening events.

"I feel honored to be among those great winners," Miyazato said of past HSBC winners Lorena Ochoa and Jiyai Shin. "This is obviously a great start for me, but the LPGA is such a tough Tour, and it's also very tough to keep winning."

Nine players were tied for the lead early in the day following bogies at one and two by co-leaders Miyazato and Juli Inkster. In the end, Miyazato's greatest challenge came from 12-time winner Cristie Kerr, who was 6-under-par on the day through 16 holes with a share of the lead. Errant drives at 17 and 18 led to bogies for Kerr, who dropped back into second, allowing Miyazato to follow two groups behind with easy pars at 17 and 18 to claim her third LPGA title in the past six months.

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