Sunday, June 22, 2008

Nichirei PGM Ladies Sunday: Mitsuka Routs the Field

The streak of 1-time winners on the JLPGA continued this week at the Nichirei PGM Ladies, as Yuko Mitsuka responded to Ji-Hee Lee's Friday 65 that had brought her within 3 shots of Mitsuka's lead with a flawless 65 of her own on Saturday. After her opening 32 demoralized her challengers, Mitsuka poured it on over the final 9 holes, while almost everyone at the top of the leaderboard stumbled badly. In fact, only 2 players in the entire field came within a stroke of her closing 33. Lee herself failed to break 40, yet only fell to T6. In the disarray, Shiho Oyama nabbed her 2nd-straight runner-up finish by holding steady with a 71.

1st/-16 Mitsuka (66-69-65)
2nd/-6 Oyama (71-68-71)
3rd/-5 Namika Omata (68-70-73)
T4/-4 Hiromi Mogi (72-71-69), Esther Lee (68-73-71)
T6/-3 Mi-Jeong Jeon (73-70-70), Mayu Hattori (72-71-70), Ji-Woo Lee (72-68-73), Ji-Hee Lee (73-65-75)
T10/-2 Shinobu Moromizato (69-74-71), Rui Kitada (74-70-70), Hiromu Takesue (72-71-71), Ritsuko Ryu (67-72-75)

T14/-1 Ayako Uehara (70-72-73)
T16/E Bo-Bae Song (74-68-74), Akane Iijima (72-69-75)
T19/+1 Chie Arimura (73-72), Yukari Baba (72-72-73), Akiko Fukushima (71-73-73), Erina Hara (73-69-75), Hyun-Ju Shin (69-72-76)
T27/+2 Hiroko Yamaguchi (70-75-73)
T38/+4 Eun-A Lim (73-68-79)
T53/+10 Yuki Ichinose (76-71-79)

With the win, Mitsuka jumped to #11 on the money list, prompting me to extend the usual top 10 overview to a top 15 to accommodate as many winners as possible.

1. Akiko Fukushima ¥49.59M
2. Ji-Hee Lee ¥45.41M
3. Sakura Yokomine ¥44.17M
4. Miho Koga ¥41.39M
5. Eun-A Lim ¥39.65M
6. Bo-Bae Song ¥38.04M
7. Yukari Baba ¥34.97M
8. Miki Saiki ¥32.47M
9. Ayako Uehara ¥32.10M
10. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥30.75M
11. Yuko Mitsuka ¥28.47M
12. Hiroko Yamaguchi ¥27.07M
13. Hyun-Ju Shin ¥23.97M
14. Akane Iijima ¥23.32M
15. Shiho Oyama ¥22.67M

Momoko Ueda is 18th thanks to her win last week in only her 2nd JLPGA event of the season; if Ji-Yai Shin's non-member win were counted toward the official money list and not just her runner-up, she would be #13 on the list. With parity the rule on the JLPGA, there is certainly an opportunity for these global stars to rise quickly should they choose to enter more events in Japan.

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