Momoko Ueda fired a final-round 66 - bolstered by the rarest of golf feats, a double-eagle - to win the Mizuno Classic. Maria Hjorth and Reilley Rankin finished two shots back at -11 while Shinobu Moromizato finished in fourth place at -8.
Ueda’s double-eagle came on the par-5 7th hole where she holed out a 3-wood from 228 yards away. In case you didn’t know, double-eagles are even rarer than aces – this was the second one posted in LPGA action this year but only the 28th ever recorded in LPGA history. Il Mi Chung had one at the Corona Championship back in March. Ueda vaulted to -12 and a two-stroke lead after her amazing shot, but bogeyed 11 to cut her lead in half. Hjorth and Rankin both birdied 13 to momentarily tie for the lead, but Ueda birdied 13 as well to regain the top spot. A bogey at 15 dropped Rankin two shots back. Maria tied for the lead again with a 20-footer for birdie at 15, then Momoko answered again with one at 16. Rankin also birdied 16 to remain two back, but could get no closer. Hjorth missed a six-footer for par at 18 to put Ueda up by two playing 18, and Momoko won with a par.
The win by Ueda is the 12th victory by a non-LPGA professional. This is almost an annual occurrence now – one of the three Asian events has been a win of that caliber in four of the last five years. Rankin posted the best finish of her career and moved into 11th place in the second-half ADT points with only one event to play. Hjorth sort-of had a “double-eagle” of her own – she eagled twice over the three days. I must point out that Yuri Fudoh – a fine player about whom I’ve written some negative words during the last 16 months – finished tied for ninth place.
The Big Surprise has to be Ueda, while the Big Disappointment is Karrie Webb (T50). That is, unless you decide that I deserve that award after not posting a first or second round summary. I was out-of-town visiting family, if that excuse carries any weight with you.