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Ai Miyazato to play on Japanese Men's Tour

Japan's Ai Miyazato is set to follow in the footsteps of American teenager Michelle Wie and play on the men's Japanese tour, officials said on Monday.

The 20-year-old Miyazato will become the first Japanese woman to play against men on Japan's JGTO Tour when she tees off in the December 15-18 Asia Japan Okinawa Open in Naha.

Okinawa-born Miyazato said: "I wanted to give something back to Okinawa. This will give the game a lift in Okinawa and it will be a good challenge for me."

Miyazato's elder brother Kiyoshi won last year's Okinawa Open.

Sweden's Sophie Gustafson was the first woman to play on the JGTO Tour when she missed the cut at the 2003 Casio World Open.

Wie, 16, is scheduled to play at this year's Casio World Open next month.

Miyazato led Japan to victory in the inaugural Women's World Cup this year.

October 24, 2005

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