Sunday, November 23, 2008

Daio Paper ElleAir Ladies Sunday: Yokomine Breaks Through

Sakura Yokomine's 1st win of 2008 came in convincing fashion today at the Daio Paper ElleAir Ladies, as she birdied 7 of her 1st 10 holes and finished with a fantastic 66 that brought her to -11 and gave her a 4-shot victory over Midori Yoneyama and a 5-shot victory over Ai Miyazato. When you shoot a 33 on the front and lose 3 shots to the leader--as Yoneyama, Miyazato, and Miki Saiki did--you know you need a miracle on the back. But only Momoko Ueda could produce one--a pair of birdies at the turn and an eagle-birdie finish that gave her a 31 there and a 66 overall--which is why she was able to join Ji-Hee Lee, Yuko Mitsuka, and a bunch of others T4 at -5.

Here are the final results:

1st/-11 Yokomine (71-66)
2nd/-7 Yoneyama (71-70-68)
3rd/-6 Miyazato (73-69-68)
T4/-5 Ueda (74-71-66), Eun-A Lim (74-70-67), Ji-Hee Lee (72-70-69), Mitsuka (71-70-70), Michie Ohba (70-71-72), Junko Omote (69-72-72)
10th/-4 Kumiko Kaneda (70-70-72)

Another nice welcome to the JLPGA for Kaneda, eh? She was -2 through 13 and playing bogey-free golf--until she bogeyed 2 of the next 3 holes, that is, and got lapped by a million people. Wonder if she's going to try for the LET or JLPGA next year? She's gotta turn pro after so many great JLPGA starts this season, right? For that matter, I wonder why she didn't join fellow amateur superstar Mika Miyazato in going for LPGA Q-School? She just beat someone who should cruise through it in a couple of weeks (Saiki), and a whole host of big names, too, many of whom should also be thinking about giving the LPGA a try in 2010 (Bo-Bae Song, Erina Hara, Mayu Hattori, Maiko Wakabayashi, Ayako Uehara, Akane Iijima, Chie Arimura, Hiromi Mogi):

T11/-3 Saiki (72-70-71), Yun-Jye Wei (69-72-72)
T13/-2 Song (75-71-68), Tamie Durdin (72-72-70), Uehara (71-72-71), Iijima (69-72-73)
T18/-1 Yukari Baba (76-70-69)
T20/E Hara (74-72-70)
T24/+1 Esther Lee (70-72-75)
T28/+2 Akiko Fukushima (73-75-70), Wakabayashi (74-72-72)
T30/+3 Arimura (75-72-72), Sakurako Mori (72-75-72)
T34/+4 Yuki Sakurai (75-73-72)
T36/+5 Mogi (74-73-74), Ji-Woo Lee (74-73-74), Hattori (75-69-77)
T41/+6 Yuki Ichinose (70-72-80)
T44/+7 Mie Nakata (74-72-77)
T46/+9 Riko Higashio (75-72-78), Shinobu Moromizato (72-74-79)

With time, perhaps Esther Lee, Sakurai, and Mori should be added to that list.

Congratulations to Yokomine on her win, her breaking the 100-million-yen barrier, and her long-awaited move to #2 on the money list:

1. Ji-Hee Lee ¥117.86M
2. Sakura Yokomine ¥101.70M
3. Miho Koga ¥95.85M
4. Akiko Fukushima ¥89.71M
5. Yuri Fudoh ¥79.61M
6. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥78.60M
7. Yuko Mitsuka ¥76.77M
8. Shiho Oyama ¥75.04M
9. Eun-A Lim ¥72.49M
10. Erina Hara ¥65.26M
11. Hyun-Ju Shin ¥64.20M
12. Ayako Uehara ¥62.89M
13. Bo-Bae Song ¥59.75M
14. Mayu Hattori ¥58.25M
15. Shinobu Moromizato ¥57.58M
16. Esther Lee ¥54.45M
17. Hiromi Mogi ¥52.11M
18. Momoko Ueda ¥50.90M
19. Akane Iijima ¥50.90M
20. Miki Saiki ¥50.84M
21. Maiko Wakabayashi ¥49.59M
22. Chie Arimura ¥46.88M
23. Ji-Yai Shin ¥44.80M
24. Midori Yoneyama ¥44.69M
25. Ji-Woo Lee ¥43.92M
26. Yukari Baba ¥42.65M
27. Hiroko Yamaguchi ¥42.40M
28. Rui Kitada ¥35.42M
29. Saiki Fujita ¥30.53M
30. Yun-Jye Wei ¥29.63M
31. Mie Nakata ¥28.33M
32. Ai Miyazato ¥27.89M
33. Nikki Campbell ¥27.04M
34. Yuko Saitoh ¥25.87M
35. So-Hee Kim ¥24.89M

That's 3 top 3s and 4 top 10s in 5 events for Ai-chan. Wouldn't it be cool if she won next week? Or if Momo-chan got win #3 on lucky JLPGA start #13? Wonder if Ji-Yai Shin will fly over for the last JLPGA major of the season....

[Update 1 (5:24 am): An eagle-eyed reader (who can read Japanese better than I can, apparently) notes that Ai-chan won't be playing in the year's last major, as she's neither won on the JLPGA nor finished in the top 20 on its money list. Too bad!]


John said...

Yeah it was a great win for Sakura, makes the final event really interesting as the money title is up for grabs...

Winner of the Tour Championship is woth ¥25m yen..

As for Ai-chan she doesn't qualify as only winners and the top 20 on the money list qualify for the event.

Good news is the Ji-yai shin is on the player list for the event/

The Constructivist said...

Oh man, Ai-chan doesn't get a lifetime exemption on the JLPGA yet? Darn it! Well, better to get the bad news now.... Thanks!