Friday, October 10, 2008

Sankyo Ladies Open Friday: Mogi Takes the Lead

Hiromi Mogi opened the Sankyo Ladies Open with a 7-birdie barrage as her 67 helped her to a 2-shot lead over Eun-A Lim, Shinobu Moromizato, and Mie Nakata. With Ji-Yai Shin taking the week off, Ai Miyazato back on the LPGA, and Momoko Ueda headed to Hawaii for next week's LPGA event--not to mention Yuri Fudoh and Akiko Fukushima taking the week off--the Sankyo seemed like a golden opportunity for Ji-Hee Lee, Mi-Jeong Jeon, Miho Koga, and Sakura Yokomine to re-establish their dominance on the JLPGA. It still may be, but they'll need to turn it around fairly quickly over the next 36 holes. Koga is 5 shots off Mogi's pace (T20), while Lee, Jeon, and Yokomine are 6 back (T35).

Here are the top 10 and notables:

1st/-5 Mogi (67)
T2/-3 Lim, Moromizato, Nakata (69)
T5/-2 Bo-Bae Song, Maiko Wakabayashi, Yasuko Satoh, Julie Lu, Mihoko Takahashi (70)
T10/-1 Miki Saiki, Hiroko Yamaguchi, Yukari Baba, and 7 others (71)

Good to see Saiki and Song starting to play well again on the JLPGA. Wakabayashi seems to have put her disastrous JWO weekend behind her.

T20/E Koga, Ji-Woo Lee (72)
T35/+1 Lee, Jeon, Yokomine, Ayako Uehara, Shiho Oyama, Akane Iijima, Midori Yoneyama, Mayu Hattori, Yuki Ichinose, Mai Arai (73)

Nice to see Arai stepping up from the Step-Up Tour. She's certainly doing a lot better than a surprising number of her fellow young stars:

T55/+2 Nikki Campbell (74)
T66/+3 Erina Hara, Rui Kitada (75)
T78/+4 Yun-Jye Wei (76)
T85/+5 Esther Lee (77)
T90/+6 Ritsuko Ryu (78)
T96/+7 Chie Arimura, Rui Yokomine (79)

The last time Mogi went this low in her 1st round, she held off an Akiko Fukushima Sunday charge with a final-hole birdie to get a win in her hometown at the Belluna Ladies. Can she flash back to that quality of play this week? Her recent history isn't encouraging: only 1 top 10 in her last 9 events and more rounds at 75 or over than in the 60s. Moromizato, who won here in 2006 and shot the only bogey-free round of the day, has been playing a bit better, but Nakata, who was 2nd here in 2003, hasn't been doing anything special lately and Eun-A Lim has been floundering since her mid-season win. Time will tell if the 4 who broke 70 can stay ahead of the chase pack tomorrow!

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