Friday, October 24, 2008

Masters Golf Club Friday: Shiho Oyama Makes 7 Birdies, Takes 5-Shot Lead

Shiho Oyama shot a bogey-free 65 in the Masters Golf Club event today to open up a 5-shot lead on some of the JLPGA's top players, including Ji-Hee Lee, Sakura Yokomine, and Mi-Jeong Jeon. With other big names struggling--Paula Creamer fell 1 shot behind Akiko Fukushima with an opening 73, but tied Yuri Fudoh and Shinobu Moromizato and beat Miho Koga (75), Yuko Mitsuka (75), Momoko Ueda (76), Erina Hara (77), and Ayako Uehara (77)--this is a huge opportunity for the winless Oyama to build up even more momentum prior to LPGA Q-School in December.

Here are the top 10 and notables from the 1st round:

1st/-7 Oyama (65)
T2/-2 Lee, Yokomine, Jeon, Bo-Bae Song, Rui Kitada, Nikki Campbell (70)
T8/-1 Miki Saiki, Ritsuko Ryu, Chieko Amanuma (71)

Jeon opened with a bogey-free 32, but closed with a birdie-less 38; Saiki was -3 through her 1st 8 holes and +2 the rest of the way; Ryu got a hole in 1 on the 156-yard par-3 14th but still only shot a 34 on the back; everyone else had kind of "blah" rounds.

T11/E Fukushima, Midori Yoneyama, Hiroko Yamaguchi, Yuki Sakurai (72)
T22/+1 Creamer, Fudoh, Moromizato, Maiko Wakabayashi, Yun-Jye Wei, Kaori Higo (73)
T30/+2 Eun-A Lim, Ji-Woo Lee, Mie Nakata, Tamie Durdin (74)
T45/+3 Koga, Mitsuka, Yuki Ichinose, Kumiko Kaneda (75)

Creamer and Fudoh each had 3 birdies but made 4 bogeys; Durdin was +4 through 10 holes but came back with 2 birdies in her last 6; amateur Kaneda opened with a birdie-less 39, then offset her 3 birdies on the back with 3 bogeys, including back-to-back ones to close out her round; the rest had seriously "blah" rounds.

But at least they're 1 great round away from contending on Sunday. Too many well-known players will need one just to make the cut:

T53/+4 Ueda, Hiromi Mogi, Saiki Fujita, Mayu Hattori (76)
T67/+5 Hara, Uehara, Akane Iijima, Esther Lee (77)
T87/+9 Chie Arimura, Riko Higashio (79)
T98/+8 Yukari Baba (80)

Ueda and Hattori opened with birdie-less 40s, while Fujita closed with one; Hara had more double bogeys (1) than birdies (0); Lee finished bogey-double. A lot of ugly golf from some very good players.

So heading into the weekend, the JLPGA's Q-School-bound players are in good shape, while everyone else will need to do something special to put pressure on Oyama.

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