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Miyuu Yamashita Places 2nd in the KPMG Women's PGA Championship

Rising star Miyuu Yamashita shared the runner-up spot three strokes off the lead with Lilia Vu and Jin Young Ko in the LPGA Tour's third major of 2024.

Miyuu Yamashita tied for second in the KPMG Women's PGA Championship on Sunday, June 23.

It was Yamashita's best-ever finish in an LPGA Tour major tournament, having previously placed tied for 12th at the US Women's Open in early June in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. 

The 22-year-old carded a 4-under 284 at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Washington, finishing three strokes behind South Korean winner Amy Yang. Yamashita shared the runner-up spot with American Lilia Vu and Jin Young Ko of South Korea ― with $702,478 in earnings (about ¥112.2 million JPY) for each of them. 

Yang was the overnight leader (7-under 209) heading into Sunday's final round, with Lauren Hartlage and Yamashita two shots adrift at 5-under. 

In her 75th appearance in a major, 34-year-old Yang collected her first major title. 

She held a seven-stroke lead after the 15th hole on Sunday but had a bogey on 16 and a double bogey on the next hole before finishing the final round with a 72.

For Yang, the victory was especially sweet after years of frustration in majors.

"At one point I thought, 'Will I ever win a major championship before I retire?' " Yang said, according to The Associated Press. "And I finally did it and it's just amazing."

Miyuu Yamashita
Miyuu Yamashita putts on the first green in the third round on June 22. (KYODO)

Consistent Play Put Miyuu Yamashita in Contention

Yamashita, winner of the JLPGA Tour season title in 2022 and 2023, has captured 11 tourney titles in Japan since turning pro in 2020. In 13 JLPGA tourneys in 2024, she has nine top-10 finishes.

In Washington, she put herself in contention for the weekend title with a 1-under 71, followed by consecutive 2-under 70s entering the final round. Yamashita completed the tourney with a 1-over 73.

She had three birdies, a pair of bogeys (on the par-4 12th and 15th) and a double bogey (on the par-4 8th) in the last round.

After the tournament wrapped up, Yamashita said the final round was an enjoyable experience.

"I had fun today playing with Amy, who won the championship," Yamashita told reporters.

She added, "I'm so happy that I could play on the last day, the last group, and then seeing Amy winning the tournament, it made me work even harder."

Yamashita acknowledged she was not absolutely certain if she'll participate in the Paris Olympics. But her post-tournament comments to reporters highlighted her satisfaction with her performance at Sahalee Country Club and her thoughts on the upcoming Olympics.

"I'm happy that I could finish in second place in this championship," Yamashita said, "and then I'm just going to try my best to represent Japan if I play [in the] Olympics."

Also for Japan, Mao Saigo and Hinako Shibuno finished tied for seventh at 2-under 286, while Ayaka Furue tied for 19th and Rio Takeda and Akie Iwai tied for 32nd. Saigo had the best score in the final round, a 5-under 67.

Miyuu Yamashita
Miyuu Yamashita (Steven Bisig/USA TODAY SPORTS)

Motivation to Keep Improving

Yamashita said she considered the Women's PGA Championship beneficial as she continues to challenge for titles in the biggest events.

"So I got confident playing in this position this week," Yamashita said. "But I also found my weak points too, so I'm going to work on that and then, yeah, just keep trying harder."

The Amundi Evian Championship, July 11-14 in Evian-les-Bains, France, is the next major to be held this year, giving Yamashita another opportunity to compete against the world's best female golfers in a high-profile event.

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Author: Ed Odeven

Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and X (formerly Twitter) @ed_odeven.


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