Sunday, July 6, 2008

Belluna Ladies Cup Sunday: Mogi Withstands Fukushima Charge

Hiromi Mogi really earned her 1st win of the season and 4th of her JLPGA career today, a 1-shot victory over Akiko Fukushima at the Belluna Ladies Cup. Playing in the final group with Fukushima ahead of her, she went out in even-par 36 and saw her 4-shot lead fall to 3 after a Fukushima birdie on the 532-yard par-5 8th hole. Then Fukushima birdied the 359-yard par-4 10th hole and only a matching birdie on the 510-yard par-5 13th and a 14-foot par save on the 156-yard par-3 14th by Mogi kept the lead at 2. But Fukushima birdied the 487-yard par-5 15th hole to cut the lead to 1, where it remained until the 345-yard par-4 18th hole, when she made yet another birdie, this one a 16-footer. Facing a playoff with the JLPGA's leading money winner in 2008, Mogi made a birdie of her own to get to -13. Her 70 was just good enough to hold off Fukushima's closing 67, whose -12 total was 2 shots better than her winning score last season.

As the AP reports, Mogi didn't know where she stood until the very end of her round:

It is only when I got to the 18th green that I realized Fukushima-san had tied for the lead and I just had to prepare myself for the worst. I'd never won with a birdie on the final hole before so this is a good experience for me.... I am delighted to be able to win in my hometown.

Playing in the final group with Mogi, Ji-Woo Lee kept pace with her on the front, but couldn't make a birdie on the back; when she bogeyed the 17th hole, she fell back into a tie for 3rd with a charging Ji-Hee Lee, whose 68 lifted her to -10 (and made her the only player in the field to break 70 all 3 rounds).

Here's how the leaderboard ended up:

1st/-13 Mogi (65-68-70)
2nd/-12 Fukushima (71-66-67)
T3/-10 Ji-Hee Lee (69-69-68), Ji-Woo Lee (66-67-73)
T5/-8 Miho Koga (69-69-70), Chie Arimura (69-69-70), Hiroko Yamaguchi (69-67-72)
8th/-7 Yasuko Satoh (70-69-70)
T9/-6 Yuko Saitoh (71-70-69), Mie Nakata (67-73-70)

T11/-5 Kaori Higo (71-71-69), Midori Yoneyama (70-71-70)
T16/-4 Mayu Hattori (73-68-71), Sakura Yokomine (71-69-72)
T22/-3 Maiko Wakabayashi (73-71-69)
T26/-2 Akane Iijima (75-68-71), Esther Lee (72-71-71)
T39/E Hyun-Ju Shin (75-69-72)

And here's how the money list looks without a single repeat winner in 2008:

1. Akiko Fukushima ¥54.87M
2. Ji-Hee Lee ¥51.71M
3. Sakura Yokomine ¥44.85M
4. Miho Koga ¥44.81M
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. Hiromi Mogi ¥32.04M
11. Yuko Mitsuka ¥30.87M
12. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥30.75M
13. Hiroko Yamaguchi ¥30.29M
14. Shiho Oyama ¥29.71M
15. Chie Arimura ¥29.61M
16. Akane Iijima ¥25.08M
17. Hyun-Ju Shin ¥24.61M
18. Esther Lee ¥21.81M
19. Yuri Fudoh ¥21.30M
20. Erina Hara ¥20.72M

Next up is the Meiji Chocolate Cup, where Shiho Oyama will attempt to defend her title against a very strong field.

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