Thursday, September 11, 2008

Konica Minolta Cup Thursday: Hyun-Ju Shin Takes the Lead

It's been 4 months since the JLPGA's 1st major of the year, where Akiko Fukushima outlasted the KLPGA's Ji-Yai Shin in a long playoff. Well, a different Shin has jumped out to the first-round lead in the Konica Minolta Cup--and she's been riding a 6-tournament top-10 streak coming into the JLPGA's 2nd major. It's JLPGA regular Hyun-Ju Shin, who knocked down 7 birdies on her way to a 67 that put her a shot ahead of Momoko Ueda, 2 ahead of Erina Hara, 5 ahead of Ji-Yai Shin, 6 ahead of Sakura Yokomine, and 7 ahead of Ai Miyazato.

Here are the top 10 and notables:

1st/-5 Hyun-Ju Shin (67)
2nd/-4 Ueda (68)
3rd/-3 Hara (69)
T4/-2 Esther Lee, Hiroko Yamaguchi (70)
T6/-1 Hiromi Mogi, Yukiyo Haga, Isumi Okada, Chiaki Yoshizaki (71)
T10/E Ji-Yai Shin, Yuko Mitsuka, Chie Arimura, Midori Yoneyama, and 3 others (72)

Apparently Ueda's lost fingernail isn't hindering her swing; she matched Shin and Hara's closing 33s to tie for the best back-9 score in the field. Arimura stayed at E despite making the only double-bogey among those in the top 10, by the way.

No need to panic for the following group, as this is a 72-hole event, but they can't be happy with their starts:

T17/+1 Yokomine, Miho Koga, Ji-Woo Lee, Maiko Wakabayashi, Tamie Durdin, Nikki Campbell (73)
T30/+2 Miyazato, Mi-Jeong Jeon, Kaori Higo, Yun-Jye Wei (74)
T42/+3 Yukari Baba, Akane Iijima, Mayu Hattori (75)
T49/+4 Yuri Fudoh, Saiki Fujita, Mie Nakata, Ai-Yu Tu (76)

Yokomine and Fudoh made 5 bogeys, Jeon and Koga made 4, and Miyazato 3 (only a birdie on the 18th saved her from doing even worse).

There are some huge names who will need a great round tomorrow just to continue playing into the weekend:

T69/+5 Ayako Uehara, Eun-A Lim, Bo-Bae Song, Yuki Ichinose (77)
T88/+6 Akiko Fukushima, Ritsuko Ryu (78)
T108/+8 Shinobu Moromizato (80)

Time to get it in gear, y'all!

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