Monday, May 5, 2008

Crystal Geyser Ladies Golf Tournament Sunday: Koga! Koga! Koga!

Miho Koga birdied 3 of her final 4 holes to catch Maiko Wakabayashi in regulation and beat her in overtime at the Crystal Geyser Ladies Championship. Koga's 67 made up a 4-shot deficit on second-round co-leaders Wakabayashi and Ritsuko Ryu. Here's the Kyodo news service's summary:

CHIBA, Japan. Miho Koga ousted teenager Maiko Wakabayashi in a playoff to claim her first win of the season at the rain-interrupted Crystal Geyser Ladies on Sunday.

Koga watched second-round joint leader Wakabayashi bogey the third playoff hole on the 18th at Keiyo Country Club and held her nerve to calmly roll in a par putt and claim her eighth career victory.

Two cheers for the mainstream media! I didn't know the tournament was being held in the Full Metal Archivist's home town--cool deal for Koga, who had a runner-up and a couple of top 5s earlier this season, one that included an opening-round 63. With the win, Koga vaults to the top of the JLPGA money list, but don't feel too bad for Wakabayashi or Ryu--the former leaped to #17 and the latter to #28. Another big mover Sunday was Akiko Fukushima: her blistering 65 jumped her to a solo 4th place finish and to #12 on the money list.

Here's the top 10:

1st (playoff winner)/-10 Koga (71-68-67)
2nd/-10 Wakabayashi (66-69-71)
3rd/-9 Ryu (65-70-72)
4th/-8 Fukushima (72-71-65)
T5/-7 Akane Iijima (70-71-68), Midori Yoneyama (69-72-68), Shinobu Moromizato (68-72-69), Sakura Yokomine (70-69-70)
T9/-6 Hiromi Mogi (71-72-67), Mihoko Iseri (66-73-71)

Mulligan Stu figured out how to link to the real-time leaderboard in English. Nice job!

Rounding out the JLPGA money list's top 10 are Ayako Uehara, Bo-Bae Song, Hiroko Yamaguchi, Yokomine, Yukari Baba, Hyun-Ju Shin, Miki Saiki, Ji-Hee Lee, and Moromizato. Tops in scoring average thus far this season are Yokomine, Saiki, and Koga--don't be surprised to see the money list end up this way and to see 2 of the 3 head to the LPGA's Q-School. Just a feeling.

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