With Sakura Yokomine and Mi-Jeong Jeon joining Ai Miyazato and Momoko Ueda at the U.S. Women's Open this week, there's a great opportunity for the rest of the JLPGA's best at the Promise Ladies this week. And Yuko Mitsuka is picking up where she left off last week, shooting her 2nd straight bogey-free 65, thanks to a string of 4 birdies in her final 6 holes. Right behind her are Tamie Durdin and Iyoko Wada, the latter on the strength of a 30 when she birdied 5 of the final 6 holes on the back. Chie Arimura is alone in 4th, 2 shots behind Mitsuka, but would have been passed by Tomoko Kusakabe if she hadn't double bogeyed the 18th; as it is, Kusakabe is tied with none other than Yuri Fudoh, who shot a bogey-free 68. With some very good players at -3, Mitsuka will have to keep up her fantastic play over the weekend to become the first repeat winner on tour in 2008.
1st/-7 Mitsuka (65)
T2/-6 Durdin, Wada (66)
4th/-5 Arimura (67)
T5/-4 Fudoh, Kusakabe (68)
T7/-3 Shinobu Moromizato, Ji-Hee Lee, Ritsuko Ryu, Maiko Wakabayashi, and 4 others (69)
Plus there are many top players lurking:
T15/-2 Shiho Oyama, Akane Iijima, Erina Hara, Kaori Higo (70)
T25/-1 Ayako Uehara, Midori Yoneyama, Esther Lee, Mayu Hattori (71)
T35/E Bo-Bae Song, Hyun-Ju Shin, Hiromi Mogi, Yuki Ichinose (72)
But some will need to play well Saturday to make the cut, including 2 of the most talented players on tour:
T49/+1 Miho Koga, Eun-A Lim (73)
T65/+2 Hiroko Yamaguchi, Yun-Jye Wei (74)
T79/+3 Miki Saiki, Yukari Baba (75)
T96/+5 Michiko Hattori (77)
Saiki, in particular, has been playing terrible golf of late; she made 2 bogeys and a double over the last 5 holes on the back for a 40, 10 shots worse than Wada.