Monday, December 3, 2007

Kyoraku Cup: Upset City

Building on Eric's fantastic reports over at the Seoul Sisters Kyoraku Cup discussion thread, here's how Team Japan pulled off their improbable victory in Fukuoka this past weekend.

Day 1
1 Shi Hyun Ahn 74, Yuko Mitsuka 67 (Japan 2, Korea 0)
2 Mi Jeong Jeon 75, Erina Hara 72 (Japan 4, Korea 0)
3 Se Ri Pak 70, Shinobu Moromizato 73 (Japan 4, Korea 2)
4 Sarah Lee 71, Miho Koga 71 (Japan 5, Korea 3)
5 Jeong Jang 72, Miki Saiki 74 (Japan 5, Korea 5)
6 Hyun Ju Shin 70, Kuniko Maeda 73 (Korea 7, Japan 5)
7 Seon Hwa Lee 73, Akane Iijima 77 (Korea 9, Japan 5)
8 Jee Young Lee 71, Yui Kawahara 74 (Korea 11, Japan 5)
9 Bo Bae Song 82, Chie Arimura 64 (Korea 11, Japan 7)
10 Eun Hee Ji 77, Ayako Uehara 76 (Korea 11, Japan 9)
11 Sun Ju Ahn 72, Sakura Yokomine 71 (Korea 11, Japan 11)
12 Ji Yai Shin 72, Midori Yoneyama 71 (Japan 13, Korea 11)

Day 2
1 Jeong Jang 71, Yuko Mitsuka 74 (Japan 13, Korea 13)
2 Shi Hyun Ahn 77, Akane Iijima 76 (Japan 15, Korea 13)
3 Hyun Ju Shin 72, Miho Koga 74 (Japan 15, Korea 15)
4 Eun Hee Ji 78, Sakura Yokomine 70 (Japan 17, Korea 15)
5 Seon Hwa Lee 69, Yui Kawahara 73 (Japan 17, Korea 17)
6 Mi Jeong Jeon 73, Erina Hara 73 (Japan 18, Korea 18)
7 Sun Ju Ahn 72, Midori Yoneyama 79 (Korea 20, Japan 18)
8 Mi Hyun Kim 73, Ayako Uehara 76 (Korea 22, Japan 18)
9 Sarah Lee 75, Kuniko Maeda 72 (Korea 22, Japan 20)
10 Ji Yai Shin 72, Shinobu Moromizato 68 (Korea 22, Japan 22)
11 Bo Bae Song 75, Miki Saiki 72 (Japan 24, Korea 22)
12 Jee Young Lee 72, Chie Arimura 75 (Japan 24, Korea 24)

Here's what happened, in Eric's own words:

This year, unlike the last time they had a tie, they decided to have a playoff. It's somewhat hard to piece together how it worked, but it was something like this. They played the 18th hole, pitting a player from each team against each other. First Seon Hwa Lee and Yokomine clashed, but they both tied. Then it was Mi Jeong Jeon vs. Moromizato (why?), but they also both tied. The third playoff hole was JJ vs. Miho Koga. On her third shot she landed in the bunker, but she hit a great out to a meter. But Koga had a 4.5 meter putt for the win. She missed that, then JJ had merely to sink her par putt to tie again. But she missed it, and just like that, the Cup was Japan's.

Kimmie explained why she chose the players she did for the playoff. Seon Hwa, obviously, was chosen for her match play brilliance, and Jeon had won on this course in the recent past. JJ is obviously a great player as well, although she didn't talk about why she chose her.

My guess is Jee Young Lee would have been next on deck had Jang made that par putt. In any case, it's on to the Lexus Cup. Hopefully Se Ri Pak's recent hip and shoulder injuries will have healed up a little and the conjunctivitis in both eyes will clear up in time for the competition. There's a big chance for redemption here for Ji-Yai Shin, Sarah Lee, and Shi Hyun Ahn, who seriously underperformed in Fukuoka. Super Sophs Seon Hwa Lee and Jee Young Lee should anchor Team Asia and face off against the top players on Team International.

But more on the Lexus Cup at the end of the week. What I want to emphasize here is how cool it would be if the organizers of the Solheim and Kyoraku Cups would put their heads together and follow my advice!