Friday, August 29, 2008

Yonex Ladies Friday: Will This Finally Be Yokomine's Week?

With many top players on the JLPGA either taking the week off, injured, withdrawn, or struggling, the Yonex Ladies may well represent Sakura Yokomine's best chance for redemption this season. Despite being 1 of only 3 players in the top 15 to fail to birdie the 478-yard par-5 18th, Yokomine is only 2 shots behind dark-horse leaders Yasuko Satoh and Woo-Soon Ko and only 1 shot behind Eun-A Lim and Saiki Fujita heading into the weekend after her bogey-free 70. But Yuri Fudoh, already a 2-time winner this season, birdied her last 2 holes to pull even with Yokomine, while several other highly-ranked players are breathing down their necks. Here are the top 10 and notables:

T1/-4 Satoh, Ko (68)
T3/-3 Lim, Fujita (69)
T5/-2 Yokomine, Fudoh, Mie Nakata, and 8 others (70)

T16/-1 Erina Hara, Shinobu Moromizato, Maiko Wakabayashi, Mayu Hattori, Tamie Durdin, Nikki Campbell (71)
T27/E Ayako Uehara (72)
T38/+1 Akiko Fukushima, Midori Yoneyama (73)

T51/+2 Chie Arimura, Ritsuko Ryu (74)
T67/+3 Hiroko Yamaguchi, Miki Saiki, Yuki Sakurai (75)

Still, this represents Yokomine's best chance for her 1st win of the season since she faded in Kobe. With the 44-year-old Ko looking simply to earn a paycheck (she's only cracked the top 20 once in her 8 made cuts in 2008), the 29-year-old Satoh coming off only her 2nd top 5 of the season, the 25-year-old Lim only garnering 2 top 10s in her last 8 events since her win, and the 22-year-old Fujita coming off a final round 81 that dropped her from 2nd to 23rd last week, this could be Yokomine's week.

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