Saturday, July 19, 2008

Stanley Ladies Saturday: Shooting Stars

Well, well, well, well, well. Yuri Fudoh's win last week appears to have woken up many top JLPGA golfers. Moving day at the Stanley Ladies lived up to its name. Ayako Uehara, who's only posted 1 top 10 since her win in April, fired her 2nd straight 67 to zoom past 1st-round leader Nikki Campbell and open up a 2-shot lead on the pair of players who also passed Campbell, Akiko Fukushima and Ji-Hee Lee. Fukushima's 67 was bogeyless, while Lee overcame 3 bogeys in the middle of her round to post a 70.

That's not all. Take a look at the top 10:

1st/-10 Uehara (67-67)
T2/-8 Fukushima (69-67), Lee (66-70)
T4/-7 Campbell (65-72), Yuko Saitoh (68-69)
T6/-6 Shinobu Moromizato (73-65), Erina Hara (71-67), Ji-Woo Lee (69-69)
T9/-5 Mi-Jeong Jeon (72-67), Mikiyo Nishizuka (68-71), Kasumi Fujii (66-73)

Moromizato shot a 65 despite bogeying the short par-5 11th. Jeon came back from a bogey on the 1st to shoot a 67. Hara posted the only other bogey-free round among the leaders.

With as strong a top 10 as this one, the notables who haven't played as well this week need a miracle to get into contention tomorrow:

T12/-4 Na Zhang (71-69), Michiko Hattori (71-69), Yuri Fudoh (70-70), Arimura (70-70), Mayu Hattori (70-70), Eun-A Lim (69-71), Yuki Ichinose (68-72)
T23/-3 Esther Lee (73-68), Akane Iijima (71-70), Hiroko Yamaguchi (67-74)
T29/-2 Hiromi Mogi (72-70)
T38/-1 Midori Yoneyama (73-70), Yukari Baba (71-72), Shiho Oyama (70-73)

Oyama didn't help her cause by tripling the par-4 17th. At least Fudoh, Lim, and Baba will get another tune-up round before the Women's British Open. Check out who missed the cut:

T58/+1 Yun-Jye Wei (73-72), Ritsuko Ryu (73-72), Bo-Bae Song (72-73), Yuko Mitsuka (70-75)
T69/+2 Miho Koga (73-73)
T89/+6 Miki Saiki (75-75)
104th/+11 Kaori Higo (79-76)

Not a good sign for Song or Saiki heading into the JLPGA Players Championship next week, much less the WBO the week after.

Uehara, by the way, will have to Monday qualify for the WBO. She'll be looking to keep the JLPGA's 2nd-leading-career-money-winner from following Fudoh and becoming the 2nd repeat winner on tour this season--and to hold off Lee, who could take over the top spot on the season money list from Fukushima with her 2nd win of the season tomorrow. Should be a great finish, especially if anyone can keep this from being only a 3-player race.

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