Defending champion Stacy Lewis is seeking her fourth LPGA win of the season at this week's Mizuno Classic as she looks to end the Tour's late-season Asian swing with a flourish.

The American last year pulled off a dramatic victory at the Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club, shooting a 64 to overcome a seven-shot deficit in the final round for a one-stroke victory over South Korea's Lee Bo-Mee.

Among the main rivals for the world number three at the $1.2 million tournament in Shima, central Japan, starting Friday, are fourth-ranked Ryu So-Yeon and her South Korean compatriot Park Hee-Young.

Lewis finished second at last month's Reignwood LPGA Classic in Beijing and tied for sixth in Kuala Lumpur but she skipped the next two events in South Korea and Taiwan to conserve energy for a strong finish to the season.

"I'm not playing all the Asia tournaments just because I want to be fresh when I am playing and I want to play good and have a chance to win," Lewis, who won this year's Women's British Open, told the LPGA website.

"So it's about managing your energy level at the end of the season because everyone is tired."

Also in the 78-strong field for the 54-hole event is South Korea's Shin Ji-Yai, who won the title in 2008 and 2010. Another former champion, 2006 winner Karrie Webb of Australia, will be looking for her 40th LPGA title.

The host nation's challengers will be led by Mika Miyazato, who last year captured the Safeway Classic.

Miyazato has just two top-10 finishes this season but last month won the Japan Women's Open on the LPGA of Japan Tour.

"Every year is different here, my golf is so much different," Miyazato said. "But this year I won the Japan Women's Open and that gave me confidence."

Germany's Caroline Masson and Thailand's Moriya Jutanugarn, who are battling for the LPGA Rookie of the Year award, are also in the field.

The tournament also counts towards the Japanese LPGA Tour money rankings. Sakura Yokomine has a chance to overtake long-time leader Rikako Morita, having won two of the past seven tournaments on that Tour.

 

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