Japan leads Crown chase after fightback

Yokomine’s 15-foot par putt at 18 gives side hope in LPGA golf event.

Afp July 26, 2014


Sakura Yokomine sank a 15-foot par putt at 18 to complete an astonishing fightback and keep Japan undefeated and atop the field Friday at the LPGA International Crown matches.

Standing 6-down with seven holes to play, Yokomine and Ai Miyazato rallied to split two points with Australia's Katherine Kirk and Lindsey Wright.

"It feels amazing," said Miyazato. "We kept making birdies to give ourselves a chance.

"We said we had to keep it going. We didn't know what was going to happen. We just kept a positive attitude."

Mika Miyazato and Mamiko Higa also rallied in a 3-and-2 win over Karrie Webb and Minjee Lee. Webb birdied the third but Higa birdied to win the next three holes and 11 as well in the victory.

That gave lone unbeaten Japan the lead in the eight-team event with two wins and two halves for six points. Thailand were next on five points and Taiwan, South Korea at four.

Spain, Sweden and Australia trail with three points each and need wins as only five teams advance to Sunday's singles matches. Overall point totals will decide the winner in the $1.6 million showdown for global bragging rights at Caves Valley.

Kirk and Wright went 5-up after seven holes and appeared set for a blowout win before the match was put on the clock after Yokomine birdied to win 12.

"We lost our timing and that was pretty much it," said Wright. "We just lost our rhythm. It was just awful. It was really disappointing."

Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2014.

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