Tuesday, August 12, 2008

AXA Ladies Weekend: Moromizato Joins the JLPGA Winners' Circle

I've always felt bad about ranking Shinobu Moromizato so highly this season, particularly when so many on the JLPGA have been playing better than she has. Well, the time for her to coast on her world rankings ended with her 2-shot win over Miho Koga at the AXA Ladies this past weekend.

Koga had the momentum coming into Sunday's round, having shot the only sub-70 round in the field the day before under terrible conditions, but Moromizato built a 4-shot lead over the 1st 8 holes of the final round and coasted to her 3rd career win on tour when Koga failed to mount a charge and closing 32s by Akiko Fukushima and So-Hee Kim ended up being too little, too late to worry the winner.

1st/-6 Moromizato (69-71-70)
2nd/-4 Koga (71-69-72)
3rd/-3 Fukushima (68-75-70)
T4/-2 Kim (73-73-68), Shiho Oyama (68-75-71), Hyun-Ju Shin (68-75-71), Erina Hara (71-71-72)
T8/-1 Pei-Lin Yu (73-73-69), Rui Kitada (74-71-70), Hiroko Yamaguchi (70-71-74)

T11/E Na Zhang (69-78-69), Tamie Durdin (73-71-72), Midori Yoneyama (71-72-73)
T16/+1 Ueda (68-76-73), Michiko Hattori (69-74-74)
T22/+2 Ayako Uehara (70-73-75)
T26/+3 Hiromi Mogi (71-76-72), Mayu Hattori (72-75-72)
T32/+4 Yuko Mitsuka (71-77-72)
T37/+5 Ritsuko Ryu (72-74-75), Gulbis (72-73-76), Akane Iijima (74-70-77)
T46/+6 Ji-Woo Lee (67-77-78)
T52/+7 Maiko Wakabayashi (71-77-75)

On a weekend when many top JLPGA players struggled to make the cut (or missed it, joining those who skipped the event), Moromizato's strong play has to be even sweeter than usual, as she beat last year's #1 on tour, Momoko Ueda, by 7 shots. Ueda, visiting from the LPGA, has been enjoying much more success there than Moromizato encountered in her brief sojourn in the States. I wonder if her 12-shot margin over Natalie Gulbis makes Moromizato wonder a little bit about trying the LPGA again?

I also wonder how the current state of the money list is affecting Ueda's schedule planning for the rest of the season. Will her 1st real disappointing result on the JLPGA motivate her to return more often or to focus even more on the LPGA?

1. Akiko Fukushima ¥79.48M
2. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥60.65M
3. Ji-Hee Lee ¥59.03M
4. Miho Koga ¥54.20M
5. Ayako Uehara ¥48.43M
6. Sakura Yokomine ¥46.99M
7. Yuko Mitsuka ¥43.94M
8. Eun-A Lim ¥41.78M
9. Shiho Oyama ¥41.12M
10. Shinobu Moromizato ¥39.56M
11. Yukari Baba ¥38.80M
12. Bo-Bae Song ¥38.52M
13. Hyun-Ju Shin ¥37.95M
14. Chie Arimura ¥37.17M
15. Yuri Fudoh ¥36.37M
16. Akane Iijima ¥35.82M
17. Hiromi Mogi ¥35.66M
18. Hiroko Yamaguchi ¥34.32M
19. Erina Hara ¥34.32M
20. Miki Saiki ¥33.52M
21. Ji-Woo Lee ¥27.09M
22. Esther Lee ¥22.68M
23. Midori Yoneyama ¥20.42M
24. Momoko Ueda ¥18.62M
25. Na Zhang ¥17.45M

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