Six tournament wins in 2 1/2 years of part-time play on the Japanese pro golf tour has taught Patti Rizzo not to be so humble when playing LPGA events in her homeland.
"I did it, and I'm not in Japan!" Rizzo said Sunday after posting a 2-under-par 69 for a two-stroke win over Martha Nause in the $300,000 Inamori Classic at StoneRidge Country Club."If I played (in the United States) as confidently as I do there, I'd do just fine. That's what I've been working on this year."
Rizzo carded earlier rounds of 73, 67 and 68 over the hilly, 6,042-yard course to finish the tournament at 7-under 277. She collected $45,000 for her fourth win in seven years on the U.S. women's tour.
Nause birdied the last hole for a final-round 70 that left her at 279 at $27,750 richer. Juli Inkster and Jane Crafter also shot 70s to finish in a third-place tie at 280.
Third-round leader Nancy Brown, who started with a two-shot lead over Rizzo, bogeyed the first two holes and struggled to a 7-over-par 79, finishing at even-par 284.
Rizzo also credited comfortable surroundings for contributing to her win, which dethroned Japan's Ayako Okamoto as two-time defending champion of a tournament partly sponsored by a Japanese company.