Parity is one thing, but the 1st round of the Miyagi TV Cup Dunlop Ladies Open was almost pure anarchy. What other word fits when such luminaries as Miho Koga (76), Ayako Uehara (76), Shiho Oyama (74), and Akane Iijima (74) are languishing below or near tomorrow's projected cut line while Yuko Saitoh (34-35), Nikki Campbell (33-36), Julie Lu (31-38!), Mayumi Shimomura (34-35), and Rie Murata (34-35) share the lead at -3?
OK, OK, I'm probably going too far: Momoko Ueda and Sakura Yokomine are only 1 shot back, along with Mie Nakata and Mayu Hattori, while Akiko Fukushima, Yuko Mitsuka, Shinobu Moromizato, and Yukari Baba are 2 behind and Miki Saiki is only 3 off the pace.
But look at the larger pattern of results and tell me if they aren't the slightest bit unexpected:
1st/-3 Saitoh, Campbell, Lu, Shimomura, Murata (69)
T6/-2 Ueda, Yokomine, Nakata, Hattori (70)
T10/-1 Fukushima, Mitsuka, Moromizato, Baba, So-Hee Kim, Keiko Sasaki (71)
T16/E Saiki, Saiki Fujita (72)
T23/+1 Kaori Higo, Tamie Durdin (73)
T34/+2 Oyama, Iijima, Hiroko Yamaguchi, Esther Lee, Yuki Ichinose (74)
T53/+3 Chie Arimura (75)
T60/+4 Koga, Uehara, Erina Hara, Maiko Wakabayashi, Riko Higashio (76)
T74/+5 Rui Yokomine (77)
T85/+6 Ritsuko Ryu (78)
Yup, that's former LPGAer Higashio and current LETer Yokomine (Sakura's onechan) keeping the former hottest golfer on the JLPGA company at the bottom of the leaderboard.
When only 5 players broke 70, scoring conditions must have been challenging, to say the least. Whether or not they improve, the relatively high leading scores and the compression among the top 52 players make this thing even more wide open than usual. Anarchy, anyone?