Kane wins Mizuno Classic

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The Independent Online

Canadian Lorie Kane birdied the first playoff hole to beat Sweden's Sophie Gustafson at the Mizuno Open in Otsu, Japan, today for her third LPGA title this season.

Canadian Lorie Kane birdied the first playoff hole to beat Sweden's Sophie Gustafson at the Mizuno Open in Otsu, Japan, today for her third LPGA title this season.

Kane, starting the regulation round three shots behind Gustafson, an overnight co-leader, forced the playoff with a masterful 6-under 66 for a 12-under-par 204.

The Swede went around the final round in 3-under 69.

Yuri Fudoh, the Japan LPGA Tour's earnings leader so far with six wins, placed third at 10-under 206 after a 70.

"I don't know how to explain what I'm feeling right now," said a jubilant Kane, who earned dlrs 127,500, from a purse of dlrs 850,000, and moved up from seventh to fifth on the LPGA earnings list. "I can't wait to talk to my mom and dad and tell them."

"It's just been a great year. I started off the season just trying to win one golf tournament, and now I've won three. It's a pretty awesome feeling," said the 35-year-old from Prince Edward Island.

Kane earned her first win in the Michelob Light Classic in August after finishing second nine times in a five-year career.

Kane, playing in the penultimate threesome, made up some ground with birdies on the second and sixth holes, but was four shots behind Gustafson, who was 12-under through nine holes.

"After nine holes, I was 8-under and I knew I needed to make birdies. I had to get to 10 or 11 to put pressure on anyone," said Kane. "So I basically let Danny (Sharp, her caddy) worry about the leaderboard and I worried about hitting the shots."

After the turn, Kane made three long putts of 15 feet or longer, for birdies on the 11th, 13th and 16th holes, and then sank a 2-footer for birdie to get to 12-under.

Almost simultaneously Gustafson, in the last group, missed a par putt from 3 feet on the 16th to fall to 11-under.

After a par on the 18th, Kane watched as Gustafson came down the fairway, missing a birdie putt on the 17th but draining a 15-footer for birdie to go into the playoff.

The two returned to the 540-yard par-5 18th for the first hole of sudden-death.

Gustafson's second shot found the greenside bunker, while Kane was just off the left side of the fairway. Kane hit first, and her wedge shot landed 5 feet short of the pin. Gustafson's sand shot was 20 feet short, and she sent the birdie putt past the hole.

Kane nailed her birdie putt and raised her arms in victory.

Gustafson collected the $79,129 runner-up check and now has two top-10 finishes to go with her two wins this season. She moved from 15th on the LPGA money list to 13th.

"Lorie played great golf today," said Gustafson. "Six-under-par is a tremendous score. At least I made her fight for it. I didn't give it away."

Fudoh's $57,743 third-place check assured her this season's money title with three tournaments left on the tour of Japan.

The 24-year-old Fudoh, in her fifth year as a pro, has earned 112.07 million yen ($103,700).

Fudoh was one of five Japanese players to finish in the top-10. Ikuyo Shiotani, Akiko Fukushima, Michie Ohba and Kasumi Fujii all tied for fourth, marking the most Japanese players in the top-10 of the Mizuno Classic since 1983.

Also sharing fourth at 9-under 207 were Liselotte Neumann, who carded her season-low 66, Joanne Morley and Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, the other co-leader overnight.

US/JLPGA tour Mizuno Classic, Otsu, Japan

Leading final-round scores (Japan unless otherwise stated):

204 - L Kane (Can) 70 68 66 (won playoff), S Gustafson (Swe) 66 69 69 206 - Y Fudo 71 65 70 207 - L Neumann (Swe) 70 71 66, A Fukushima 69 71 67, I Shiotani 71 69 67, M Oba 69 70 68, J Morley (Gbr) 70 67 70, K Fujii 68 68 71, V Goetze-Ackerman (USA) 69 66 72 209 - K Higo 69 71 69, K Ok-Hee (Kor) 69 71 69, S Waugh (Aus) 72 68 69, S Redman (USA) 70 69 70, G Park (Kor) 69 70 70, M Yoneyama 67 70 72 210 - H Yu-chen (Tpe) 72 73 65, C Sorenstam (Swe) 76 68 66, P Sinn (Kor) 72 69 69, P Sinn (Kor) 72 69 69, L Lindley (USA) 69 70 71 211 - D Ammaccapane (USA) 71 72 68, C Matthew (Gbr) 71 71 69, K Booth (USA) 71 71 69, M McGann (USA) 73 68 70, E Klein (USA) 71 70 70, R Hetherington (Aus) 66 72 73, M Hjorth (Swe) 68 69 74 212 - K Albers (USA) 71 70 71, A Finney (USA) 72 68 72, K Golden (USA) 68 72 72, F Pike (Aus) 71 69 72, J Rosales (Phi) 70 70 72 213 - M Estill (USA) 72 72 69, J Gallagher-Smith (USA) 70 73 70, N Scranton (USA) 72 70 71, C McCurdy (USA) 72 70 71, J Bartholomew (USA) 72 68 73 214 - J Lidback (Per) 73 68 73 215 - M Will (USA) 72 73 70, J McGill (USA) 69 74 72, K Woo-Soon (Kor) 68 73 74, AJ Eathorne (Can) 72 69 74, W Doolan (Aus) 72 68 75 216 - K Man-Soo (Kor) 73 70 73, L Young-Me (Kor) 71 70 75 217 - J Jang (Kor) 72 73 72 218 - K Williams (USA) 76 71 71, LA Mills (USA) 72 72 74, L Philo (USA) 73 71 74 219 - S Sora (Kor) 76 71 72, D D'Alessio (USA) 67 75 77 221 - K Ae-Sook (Kor) 74 73 74

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