Sunday, October 26, 2008

Masters Golf Club Sunday: Can Shiho Oyama Do It?

Ah-Reum Hwang is having the round of her career today in the JLPGA's Masters Golf Club event. Despite going double bogey-bogey as she made the turn, she has once again caught Shiho Oyama at -5, thanks to birdies on the 11th, 13th, and 14th holes that return her to the pace she set when she birdied 4 of her 1st 8 holes. Oyama, meanwhile, has been the model of steadiness--surprising for someone whose 2nd-round score was 10 strokes worse than her 1st--getting to -5 with a birdie on the par-5 1st hole and reeling off 13 straight pars to pull ahead of 2nd-round leader Ji-Hee Lee, the victim of 5 bogeys in her 1st 10 holes who has recently righted her ship with birdies on the 12th and 14th to join Eun-A Lim (68) and Miki Saiki (-2 through 15) at -3.

If Hwang can pull off the win, it would be huge for the 21-year-old, who's won twice on the JLPGA's Step-Up Tour but who hasn't finished better than T15 in the big leagues in 2008. Oyama, meanwhile, is looking for her 11th career JLPGA victory. The 2006 money list leader, who won 5 times that season to break Yuri Fudoh's stranglehold on the JLPGA, could use a confidence boost heading into the LPGA's Q-School, as could Saiki, who is also winless in 2008.

More soon!

[Update 1 (3:20 am): Lots of could-have-beens for those fighting for top 10s. Nikki Campbell bogeyed the 16th and 17th to drop back to a 71 and -1 for the tournament. Ji-Woo Lee also got it to -3 before a bogey on the 16th dropped her 3 shots off the pace with 2 to play, much like Yuki Sakurai and Mi-Jeong Jeon, whose bogeys came on the 9th and 14th, respectively. They, at least, have 3 holes left to get themselves into the mix. Sakura Yokomine has 4 left, but she's only -1 after going birdie-less with 2 bogeys in the mix for added frustration. Meanwhile, a nice charge by Yuri Fudoh--a bogey-free 34 on the back that earned her a 69--could yet net her a top 10, as Maiko Wakabayashi, Shinobu Moromizato, and Rui Kitada are struggling on the back and Bo-Bae Song has only recently righted her ship with a birdie on the par-5 12th that got her back to this big group T11 at E for the tournament. Momoko Ueda's 71 will not be good enough to get her a top 10, but unless Paula Creamer can birdie at least 1 of her last 2 holes, it'll tie her with the LPGA's #2 player at +1 (T16 thus far).]

[Update 2 (4:26 am): Oyama did it! After Hwang bogeyed 16 and 17, Oyama birdied 16 and 18 for what turned out to be a comfortable 4-shot victory.

Here are the final results for the top 10 and notables:

1st/-7 Shiho Oyama (65-75-69)
T2/-3 Eun-A Lim (74-71-68), Ah-Reum Hwang (72-71-70)
T4/-2 Yuki Sakurai (72-71-71), Sakura Yokomine (70-71-73), Ji-Hee Lee (70-69-75)
T7/-1 Ji-Woo Lee (74-70-71), Nikki Campbell (70-74-71), Miki Saiki (71-72-72), Mi-Jeong Jeon (70-72-73)

Huge finish for Sakurai, despite the bogey on 17 that kept it from being even better--wonder if this means she'll be joining her under-22 cohort on the JLPGA next season. Ji-Hee Lee, by the way, got it to -4 with 2 holes to go, but bogeyed out to join her and Yokomine in 4th.

T11/E Yuri Fudoh (73-74-69), Maiko Wakabayashi (73-71-72), Bo-Bae Song (70-73-73)
T14/+1 Momoko Ueda (76-70-71), Paula Creamer (73-71-73), Shinobu Moromizato (73-71-73), Rui Kitada (70-71-76)
18th/+2 Akiko Fukushima (72-72-74)
T19/+3 Mayu Hattori (76-72-71), Esther Lee (77-69-73), Tamie Durdin (74-71-74)
T22/+4 Yuko Mitsuka (75-72-73), Mie Nakata (74-73-73), Midori Yoneyama (72-73-75)
T26/+5 Yuki Ichinose (75-75-71), Miho Koga (75-73-73)
T30/+6 Kumiko Kaneda (75-70-77)
T36/+7 Hiromi Mogi (76-71-76)
T42/+8 Kaori Higo (73-74-77)
T49/+9 Hiroko Yamaguchi (72-77-76)
T54/+11 Yun-Jye Wei (73-75-79)
57th/+12 Ritsuko Ryu (71-79-78)

Too bad for Kaneda--maybe it's time for her to turn pro and spend a few years on the JLPGA.]

[Update 3 (4:44 am): Here's the new money list:

1. Ji-Hee Lee ¥112.00M
2. Akiko Fukushima ¥87.70M
3. Miho Koga ¥82.03M
4. Sakura Yokomine ¥80.54M
5. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥77.34M
6. Yuri Fudoh ¥75.37M
7. Shiho Oyama ¥70.31M
8. Hyun-Ju Shin ¥64.20M
9. Yuko Mitsuka ¥64.12M
10. Erina Hara ¥60.82M
11. Eun-A Lim ¥59.40M
12. Ayako Uehara ¥58.92M
13. Shinobu Moromizato ¥53.40M
14. Bo-Bae Song ¥51.55M
15. Hiromi Mogi ¥49.37M
16. Akane Iijima ¥48.52M
17. Esther Lee ¥45.73M
18. Momoko Ueda ¥45.58M
19. Miki Saiki ¥43.72M
20. Maiko Wakabayashi ¥42.87M
21. Hiroko Yamaguchi ¥41.35M
22. Ji-Woo Lee ¥41.06M
23. Chie Arimura ¥40.90M
24. Yukari Baba ¥40.76M
25. Midori Yoneyama ¥34.34M
26. Rui Kitada ¥32.97M
27. Saiki Fujita ¥29.27M
28. Mayu Hattori ¥29.09M
29. Nikki Campbell ¥25.52M
30. Mie Nakata ¥24.75M

Ji-Yai Shin is now #32, Na Zhang #39, and Ai Miyazato #45.]

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