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Lewis wins LPGA Phoenix event to take No. 1 ranking

The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- Good players take advantage of great opportunities.

Stacy Lewis caught a break the final round of the R.R. Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup when leader Ai Miyazato registered a double-bogey on the 16th hole at Wildfire Golf Club. Lewis responded with a birdie to charge into a two-shot lead.

Lewis wound up making birdies on four of the final six holes, and she won the tournament with blistering 8-under-par 64 Sunday. The victory moved her to the top of the women's golf rankings.

After shooting 68-65-68-64--265, Lewis defeated Miyazato by three shots.

For the tournament, Lewis finished 23 under par. Miyazato, who shot a course-record 63 in Thursday's opening round, completed the four days at 20 under par. She shot a 71 Sunday after beginning the day with a four-shot lead.

The previous No. 1 player, Yani Tseng, finished in a tie for 59th at 284. No matter how well Tseng played, Lewis would have vaulted to the top spot with a win Sunday.

Lewis, a 28-year-old Toledo, Ohio, native who was an All-American at the University of Arkansas, recovered from receiving a two-stroke penalty in the third round. Her caddy, Travis Wilson, traversed into the sand trap on No. 16 to test the surface. Officials ruled he tampered with the surface, and Lewis was docked two strokes.

That penalty appeared to create a bridge between Lewis and Miyazato, who battled for the lead throughout the final round.

When Miyazato birdied No. 10 and Lewis dropped in a par, the 27-year-old Japanese player held a three-shot advantage. The gap tightened to one shot before the fateful 16th.

For her second shot on the 16th fairway, Miyazato chose a pitching wedge to approach the green, but the ball veered to the far left and kept rolling into the desert. Her return shot rolled past the green. That created a double-bogey situation, and Lewis jumped in to take full advantage.

Earlier on No. 13, Miyazato bogeyed and Lewis dropped in a par to pull within one.

Lewis trailed by three shots after 12 holes but rallied to capture her second victory of the season.

Earlier this month, she won the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore by one stroke over Na Yeon Choi of South Korea.

NOTES: By winning the event, Lewis takes home $225,000 of the total $1.5 million purse. ... For finishing second, Miyazato earned $138,527. ... After Lewis and Miyazato, Angelo Stafford took third place with 17 under par. Jessica Korda, Giulia Sergas, Lizette Salas and Jee Young Lee tied for fourth at 16 under par.

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