Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bridgestone Ladies Open Saturday: This Is What We've Been Waiting For!

The leaderboard at the Chukyo TV Bridgestone Ladies Open is now officially star-studded. Miki Saiki fired a bogey-free 67 to get to -6 for the tournament, while Miki Saiki's 68 brought her into a 2nd place tie, 1 shot back, with Ayako Uehara and first-round co-leader Michiko Hattori. Another shot back are Shiho Oyama, Yukari Baba, Hiromi Mogi, and Ji-Hee Lee, followed by Hyun-Ju Shin and Midori Yoneyama. Sakura Yokomine remains within striking range, 4 shots back of Koga. In short, some of the best and hottest golfers on the JLPGA will be involved in a real free-for-all tomorrow.

Here's where the leaders and notables stand:

1st/-6 Koga (71-67)
T2/-5 Saiki (71-68), Uehara (69-70), Hattori (68-71)
T5/-4 Lee (71-69), Oyama (70-70), Mogi (69-71), Baba (68-72)
T9/-3 Yoneyama (71-70), Shin (69-72)

T11/-2 Yomomine (71-71)
T16/E Yui Kawahara (74-70), Bo-Bae Song (73-71), Chie Arimura (72-72)
T24/+1 Kaori Higo (72-73), Mie Nakata (72-73), Akane Iijima (71-74)
T32/+2 Mi-Jeong Jeon (74-72)
T42/+3 Erina Hara (73-74)
T48/+4 Hiroko Yamaguchi (77-71), Na Zhang (76-72)
T63/+6 Yun-Jye Wei (76-74)

Yuko Mitsuka WDed. Yamaguchi and Zhang made the cut by the skin of their teeth--both suffered late bogeys that almost doomed them. Yokomine's front-side 34 was tied for the 2nd-best score in the field Saturday, but she squandered it with a lackluster 37 on the back. After a bad stretch midway through Mogi's round where she went +4 over 5 holes, she closed with 4 birdies in her last 7 to stay in contention. Uehara would be tied for the lead but for a final-hole bogey. Saiki was -4 over her final 6 holes, kicked off by an eagle on the 500-yard par-5 13th; if it weren't for a bogey on her penultimate hole, she, too, would be tied for the lead.

Anything can happen Sunday! Stay tuned!

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