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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2008 > LPGA > Mizuno Classic > Round 3


Ji-Yai Shin coasts to a six shot victory

Ji-Yai Shin became the youngest player to win the Mizuno Classic, blazing to a six-stroke victory on Sunday.

The 20-year-old Korean ace started the final round with a two-shot lead, which she extended to four strokes at the turn after picking up two early birdies, followed by an eagle at the par-5 seventh, where she chipped in from 20 yards.

Wearing a thick winter jacket between shots in an effort to stave off the cold wind, she was not remotely challenged on the back nine as she carded a 5-under-par 67 at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club, with Japan’s Mayu Hattori a distant second after a 71.

Shin, who made only two bogeys in 54 holes, finished at 15-under 201.

She collects $210,000 from a total purse of $1.4 million at the co-sanctioned LPGA and Japan LPGA Tour event.

It is Shin’s ninth worldwide victory this year, including her second on the LPGA Tour. Her maiden win came at the Women’s British Open three months ago, and though she is yet to win in the United States, it surely won’t be long.

Shin said she felt confident of victory after her eagle at No. 7.

After tapping home her winning putt from one foot, she bowed to the large gallery, hugged her Australian caddie and then ran around the green in a futile attempt to prevent being doused in champagne by fellow player In-Kyung Kim.

“Today I was very nervous on the first teeing ground, but I made birdie on second and third hole and got more confident and comfortable,” Shin said, speaking English.

“Yesterday and today was really good my iron (shots), almost best of the year. It feels I can make everything.”

Shin’s caddie paid tribute to his boss.

“She kills everybody with ball-striking,” Dean Herden said. “She a great driver. She’s hardly ever out of the fairway and she rarely uses a 3-wood.

“She picks which side of the fairway she wants to come in from, so she’s nearly always in position to attack the pin.”

Shin has a stellar record in Japan this year, with two victories and three runner-up finishes from five starts.

She admits feeling extremely comfortable in Japan, where she is not quite under the scrutiny she must endure at home.

She appreciates the way the Japanese people respect her privacy, and loves the food as well.

The Mizuno Classic wrapped up the LPGA’s three-event Asian autumn swing. Helen Alfredsson won the Grand China Air tournament, while Candie Kung captured last week’s Kolon Championship in Korea.


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