With her bogey-free 68, Miho Koga takes a 2-shot lead into the final round of the CAT Ladies over 1st-round leader Yuko Mitsuka (who could only manage an even-par 73 today) and dark horse Saiki Fujita (who matched Mitsuka's 66 from yesterday). But the trio shouldn't look over their shoulders, for close on their heels are a gaggle of great golfers, led by #3 on the money list Mi-Jeong Jeon (-6 after a solid 71) and #2 Ji-Hee Lee (-5 after a bogey-free 69, capped off by a closing 33).
1st/-9 Koga (69-68)
T2/-7 Fujita (73-66), Mitsuka (66-73)
3rd/-6 Jeon (69-71)
T5/-5 Lee (73-68), Hyun-Ju Shin (72-69), Chie Arimura (72-69), Mayu Hattori (72-69), Mie Nakata (69-72), and 3 others
Shin and Hattori both had bogey-free rounds, but it was the latter who had the 2nd-lowest front-side score, a 32, which was outdone only by Fujita's sizzling 31.
Lurking at -4 are Momoko Ueda (who shot a bogey-free 70) and Sakura Yokomine (who came back with 3 birdies in her last 6 holes for her 2nd straight 71).
T13/-4 Ueda (72-70), Yokomine (71-71), Ji-Woo Lee (67-74)
T17/-3 Hiromi Mogi (75-68), Esther Lee (73-70)
T21/-2 Kaori Higo (72-72), Midori Yoneyama (71-73), Hiroko Yamaguchi (70-74)
T27/-1 Maiko Wakabayashi (73-72)
T31/E Ritsuko Ryu (76-70), Eun-A Lim (74-72), Erina Hara (73-73), Miki Saiki (73-73)
T40/+1 Bo-Bae Song (76-71), Yun-Jye Wei (76-71), Ayako Uehara (73-74), Akane Iijima (71-76)
Lee was right in the hunt until making 3 bogeys in her closing 8 holes--she keeps having trouble completing her metamorphosis from JLPGA mouse to cat. Mogi followed up her 32 on the front more solidly to vault into the top 20. Lim, meanwhile, went out in 33, but couldn't maintain the pace. While Song and Wei both went just enough under par in their closing holes to make the cut, they couldn't match Ryu's back-9 33, which tied Ji-Hee Lee for the best score on the side. By contrast, Uehara shot a 40 on the back but just made the cut, as did Iijima, who bogeyed 2 of her last 3 holes.
Others were not so fortunate:
T51/+2 Michiko Hattori (74-74)
T58/+3 Yukari Baba (78-71)
T63/+4 Yuki Ichinose (73-77)
T89/+8 Na Zhang (78-76)
Who will be more fortunate after tomorrow's round? Will Mi-Jeong Jeon find a way to become the JLPGA's 1st 3-time winner of 2008? Will Miho Koga, Yuko Mitsuka, Ji-Hee Lee, Hyun-Ju Shin, or Chie Arimura become the 4th repeat winner on tour this season? Will Saiki Fujita, Mie Nakata, or Mayu Hattori join the JLPGA's big cats? Will Sakura Yokomine find a way to successfully defend her title? Or will Momoko Ueda get her 2nd win of the season?