Sunday, June 29, 2008

Promise Ladies Sunday: Can Arimura Hold Off Fudoh and Oyama?

2008 has not been kind to Yuri Fudoh and Shiho Oyama. Fudoh has played terribly since she won early in the season and still hasn't crossed the billion yen mark in career winnings. Even though Oyama's returned to form of late, she's had to endure 2 straight runner-ups. Chie Arimura is in a great position to keep them frustrated for another week. She hasn't made a bogey since the 14th hole of the 1st round and stands at -12 with 5 holes to play in the Promise Ladies. Despite her great play, Fudoh had caught her with 3 straight birdies to close out the front. But 2 2-shot swings later--an Arimura birdie and Fudoh bogey on the 10th and a Fudoh double bogey on the par-5 13th--and her lead was 4 on both Fudoh and Oyama, who hasn't made a birdie since landing 3 of them in her 1st 7 holes.

The only other players who could have been in the mix--Esther Lee and first-round leader Yuko Mitsuka--haven't kept pace with the top 3. Lee erased her 2 opening birdies with 3 bogeys in 4 holes at the turn; at E for the day, she's 5 back with 5 to play, alone in 4th place. Mitsuka's hot streak has definitely come to an end, as she's +2 on her round with 4 holes to play, thanks to a double bogey on each side that have helped offset her 4 birdies. At -5 (T8), she's been caught by the field. There are 15 players at -5 or better and another 5 only 1 shot back. The round of the day so far belongs to Yun-Jye Wei; her 67 has broken her streak of bad golf (3 missed cuts and no top 25s in her last 8 events) and vaulted her into the top 10, for now at least.

More after the JLPGA lifts their online blackout!

[Update 1 (8:18 am): Arimura did it! In fact, she pulled away for the win, continuing the JLPGA's streak of 1-time winners this season. Oyama got her 3rd straight runner-up finish, while Esther Lee got her 5th top 5 in her last 6 starts. Here's how they ended up:

1st/-14 Arimura (67-67-68)
2nd/-9 Oyama (70-69-68)
T3/-8 Lee (71-66-71), Fudoh (68-69-71)
5th/-7 Erina Hara (70-69-70)
T6/-6 Kaori Aoyama (70-72-68), Yasuko Satoh (73-68-69), Ji-Hee Lee (69-72-72), Mayumi Shimamura (69-72-69), Yuko Mitsuka (65-72-73)

T11/-5 Yun-Jye Wei (74-70-67), Akane Iijima (70-71-70)
T16/-4 Miho Koga (73-68-71), Maiko Wakabayashi (69-69-74)
T21/-3 Hiroko Yamaguchi (74-70-69), Shinobu Moromizato (69-70-74)
T23/-2 Eun-A Lim (73-72-69), Ayako Uehara (71-71-72), Yuki Ichinose (72-69-73)
T31/-1 Mayu Hattori (71-75-70)
T34/E Bo-Bae Song (72-73-71), Midori Yoneyama (71-72-73)
T40/+1 Ritsuko Ryu (69-76-72)
T44/+2 Hiromi Mogi (72-73-73)
T49/+3 Hyun-Ju Shin (72-73-74)
T51/+4 Kaori Higo (70-73-77)

And here's how the money list looks:

1. Akiko Fukushima ¥49.59M
2. Ji-Hee Lee ¥47.81M
3. Sakura Yokomine ¥44.17M
4. Miho Koga ¥42.31M
5. Eun-A Lim ¥40.29M
6. Bo-Bae Song ¥38.52M
7. Yukari Baba ¥34.97M
8. Ayako Uehara ¥32.74M
9. Miki Saiki ¥32.47M
10. Yuko Mitsuka ¥30.87M
11. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥30.75M
12. Shiho Oyama ¥29.71M
13. Hiroko Yamaguchi ¥27.79M
14. Chie Arimura ¥27.11M
15. Akane Iijima ¥24.63M

Hyun-Ju Shin just dropped out of the top 15 and Esther Lee is 1 good finish away from getting into it. Perhaps she's next in line to keep the 1-time winner sreak going? Fudoh is now less than 7 million yen shy of the 1 billion mark, but she's sitting next week at the Belluna Ladies Cup out, along with Miho Koga, Miki Saiki, Mi-Jeong Jeon, and Shiho Oyama. But the field is still strong. Sakura Yokomine returns from the U.S. Women's Open and Akiko Fukushima comes back from her week off, and with Arimura and Mitsuka in the field, there will be plenty of competition among those seeking their 1st and 2nd wins of 2008.]

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