Miyazato Takes Opening Round Lead At NWA Championship

Ai Miyazato made birdie on the 54th hole at the Walmart Northwest Arkansas Championship last year to win the tournament.

That birdie left Mika Miyazato alone in second place. But Mika is looking to change that this time around.

“I`m not a long hitter but I am better at the short game,” Mika Miyazato said.

Mika Miyazato posted a bogey free round of 65, 6-under to take a one stroke lead after the opening round.Miyazato has finished in the top three in each of the past two years at Pinnacle Country Club.

So Yeon Ryu is sitting at 5-under at a round of 66 along with Angela Stanford.

Defending champion Ai Miyazato will need a strong second round to avoid missing the cut after shooting a 2-over 73.

Stacy Lewis, Suzann Pettersen, Morgan Pressel and seven others are two strokes off the lead after rounds of 4-under 67.

Lewis is looking to climb up to the top world ranking as she trails only Innbe Park. Park shot a 2-under 69 but was unable to take advantage of the course’s longer holes.

“I just didn`t play the par 5’s well at all,” Park said. “I shot two over on the par 5s which really cost me today. Except for that, everything was great.  I just missed a couple putts but we still have two days so I`m looking forward to it.”

In all, 52 players broke par in the opening round on Friday while another 23 fired an even par round of 71. The projected cut is at even par currently but will likely change after Saturday’s round.