Date: November 10, 2008

Shin cruises to Mizuno title

Ji-Yai Shin became the youngest winner of the Mizuno Classic as she cruised to an emphatic six-stroke victory at Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club 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-five seventh, where she chipped in from 20 yards. Wearing a thick winter jacket between shots in an effort to stave off the cold wind, Shin was unchallenged on the back nine as she carded 5-under-par 67, with Japan&aposs Mayu Hattori a distant second after a 71. Shin, who made only two bogeys in 54 holes, finished on 15-under 201. It is Shin&aposs ninth worldwide victory this year and her second on the LPGA Tour following her win at the Women&aposs British Open three months ago. After tapping home her winning putt from one foot, she bowed to the large gallery, hugged her Australian caddie Dean Herden 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.” Herden paid tribute to his boss. “She kills everybody with ball-striking. She a great driver. She&aposs hardly ever out of the fairway and she rarely uses a three-wood,” he said. “She picks which side of the fairway she wants to come in from, so she&aposs 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. Karrie Webb finished in a share of 63rd place at four-over, while Rachel Hetherington completed a disappointing tournament at nine-over. LPGA Tour Round Three of the Mizuno Classic, Japan -15: Ji-Yai Shin 68 66 67 -9: Mayu Hattori 67 69 71 -8: Eun-A Lim 68 70 70 -7: Il Mi Chung 71 69 69, Jee Young Lee 69 68 72, Yun-Jye Wei 71 68 70 -6: Allison Fouch 73 67 70, Yuri Fudoh 71 70 69, Miki Saiki 67 73 70, Bo Bae Song 70 71 69 -5: Erina Hara 71 67 73, Jin Joo Hong 69 73 69, Candie Kung 73 70 68, Yuko Mitsuka 69 71 71, Ji Young Oh 69 72 70