LPGA: Why an Asian Golfer Will Win the 2011 Evian Masters

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistJuly 23, 2011

Japan's Ai Miyazato leads the Asian contingent going into the Evian Masters final round.
Japan's Ai Miyazato leads the Asian contingent going into the Evian Masters final round.Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Everything's set for the final round of the 2011 Evian Masters and there is a star-studded leaderboard going into Sunday. However, if history has taught us something, we should know by now that when you have Asian players in the mix, they tend to win.

This year, they've won 33.33 percent of the tournaments, that's four of 12, which also means they've won more times than the Europeans or the Americans. Furthermore, they have 50 percent runner-up finishes, six of 12, and yes, no other group has done it.

The Asian golfers who have a spot in the top 10 are: Ai Miyazato, former world No. 1 and winner of the 2009 Evian Masters; Ran Hong, one of the most successful players on the KLPGA, nowadays; Miki Saiki, who has seven top 10 finishes in the JLPGA, out of 13 events this year; In-Kyung Kim, world No. 7 and three-time winner on the LPGA; and Mika Miyazato, non-related to Ai, but with stellar game too, she has three top 10 finishes this season.

They have quite a resume but they also have a lot of heart and game. For instance, In-Kyung Kim shot the lowest round of this year's Evian, eight under par (10-under overall), one stroke shy from the course record held by Helen Alfredsson.

Kim has come from behind before. At last year's Lorena Ochoa Invitational, the South Korean shot 64 in the final round and hoisted the trophy, defeating Suzann Pettersen by three.

Ai Miyazato knows exactly where to hit it and she intends to keep up with the good work. She's one of the few players that has maintained her composure in the back nine, the toughest part of the course, and will surely play a key factor in the final round.

As for Mika, Saiki and Hong, don't count them out. They have no pressure on them, they are already among the best of the field and may well continue to surprise, the same way So Yeon Ryu did when she won this year's U.S. Women's Open.

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