Sunday, November 9, 2008

Mizuno Classic Sunday: Shin Wins Big

Hound Dog has Ji-Yai Shin's 6-shot victory over Mayu Hattori in the Mizuno Classic covered from almost every possible angle, so consider this an effort to add a few footnotes to his pithy and almost-perfect post.

Rounds of the Week

Congrats to Shinobu Moromizato for shooting the low round of the day and the week--a 65 that included 6 birdies and an eagle and, in the process, outdid Sandra Gal's bogey-free 66.

The Race for the ADT Championship

Neither Christina Kim nor Hee Young Park helped their causes, even though Morgan Pressel and Meena Lee opened the door for them. Park and Ai Miyazato are alternates for Lorena's tournament, but as it's unlikely anyone will WD, their LPGA seasons are effectively over. It's going to come down to Nicole Castrale and Meena Lee trying to hold off Christina Kim, Sophie Gustafson, Sun Young Yoo, and Jane Park next week for the last two 2nd-half-money-list spots. Kim and Gustafson lead the wild card race, as well, but Yoo is only a few thousand dollars behind the latter on the money list, while Park is less than $18K behind. Brittany Lang basically needs to win next week to get into the ADT (either by displacing Lee for the last 2nd-half spot or leapfrogging past 3 of those ahead of her on the money list); even if Teresa Lu were to win, she'd need some help from those ahead of her on the money list to play the following week.

Mixed Performances from JLPGA Notables

The JLPGA's finest didn't play like it this week, but a look down the notables list shows how strong the JLPGA is:

2nd/-9 Hattori (67-69-71)
3rd/-8 Eun-A Lim (68-70-70)
T4/-7 Yun-Jye Wei (71-68-70)
T7/-6 Yuri Fudoh (71-70-69), Bo-Bae Song (70-71-69), Miki Saiki (67-73-70)

T11/-5 Yuko Mitsuka (69-71-71), Erina Hara (71-67-73)
T16/-4 Sakura Yokomine (71-71-70)
T23/-2 Shiho Oyama (69-68-77), Shinobu Moromizato (73-76-65), Esther Lee (72-69-73), Hiromi Mogi (71-72-71)
T31/-1 Ji-Hee Lee (74-69-72)
T35/E Momoko Ueda (70-74-72), Akiko Fukushima (74-72-70), Saiki Fujita (71-70-75), Rui Kitada (75-70-71)
T44/+1 Ayako Uehara (71-72-74), Midori Yoneyama (73-75-69), Nikki Campbell (72-73-72)
T51/+2 Ai Miyazato (71-73-74), Miho Koga (73-70-75), Maiko Wakabayashi (71-76-71), Ji-Woo Lee (72-74-72), Hiroko Yamaguchi (74-71-73)
T63/+4 Mi-Jeong Jeon (73-71-76), Akane Iijima (73-73-74)
T69/+5 Chie Arimura (74-71-76)
T75/+7 Yukari Baba (71-74-78)
T77/+9 Kaori Higo (71-79-75)

When you consider how badly top LPGA stars blew up this week, from Morgan Pressel (+5) to Ya Ni Tseng, Inbee Park, and Karrie Webb (+4), or played indifferently, from Christina Kim and Na Yeon Choi (E) to Mi Hyun Kim (-1) and In-Kyung Kim (-2), or played well but got dusted by Shin anyway, from Candie Kung, Ji Young Oh, and Jin Joo Hong (-5) to Allison Fouch (-6), Il Mi Chung (-7), and Jee Young Lee (-7), it's pretty clear that the JLPGA held up better than the KLPGA did this season against the LPGA's stars. The Kyoraku Cup should be quite interesting!

Money List

Here's the new JLPGA money list:

1. Ji-Hee Lee ¥112.99M
2. Akiko Fukushima ¥88.45M
3. Sakura Yokomine ¥84.84M
4. Miho Koga ¥83.26M
5. Yuri Fudoh ¥78.69M
6. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥78.17M
7. Shiho Oyama ¥71.56M
8. Eun-A Lim ¥68.61M
9. Yuko Mitsuka ¥67.68M
10. Hyun-Ju Shin ¥64.20M
11. Erina Hara ¥63.69M
12. Ayako Uehara ¥60.73M
13. Shinobu Moromizato ¥57.18M
14. Bo-Bae Song ¥54.87M
15. Mayu Hattori ¥54.39M
16. Esther Lee ¥53.15M
17. Hiromi Mogi ¥51.04M
18. Akane Iijima ¥48.83M
19. Maiko Wakabayashi ¥47.84M
20. Miki Saiki ¥47.04M
21. Momoko Ueda ¥46.34M
22. Chie Arimura ¥45.73M
23. Ji-Yai Shin ¥45.18M
24. Ji-Woo Lee ¥42.75M
25. Hiroko Yamaguchi ¥41.77M
26. Yukari Baba ¥41.02M
27. Midori Yoneyama ¥35.30M
28. Rui Kitada ¥34.74M
29. Saiki Fujita ¥30.54M
30. Nikki Campbell ¥26.69M

With only 3 events remaining in the JLPGA's 2008 schedule and the last of them being the last of their majors, it'll be interesting to see how many events Ai-chan (currently #45 on the money list) will play. This "just playing the JLPGA majors and big-time events" doesn't seem to be working out.

[Update 1 (7:57 pm): On the other hand, as Hound Dog points out, the limited schedule Ji-Yai Shin has been playing on the LPGA (and JLPGA) has been working out just fine. Wonder if she can win the ADT!]

[Update 2 (11/10/08, 8:28 am): Some interesting remarks from the champion in her post-win interview:

Q. You said you are going to play the LPGA Tour next year. Do you have some tournaments that you think you are going to play in Japan?

JI-YAI SHIN: I really like this tournament in Japan. Everyone is very friendly when I come here, so I do really want to play more tournaments in Japan. I don't know how many, because the LPGA schedule, we don't know yet. So, maybe after looking at the LPGA schedule and the JLPGA schedule, I will be able to see what tournaments I can play.

I'd like playing in Japan, too, if I were to finish 1-2-2-2-1 in the tournaments I entered there! But I suspect Shin will try to get as many KLPGA and JLPGA majors onto her schedule as possible in 2009, even if it hurts her in the Rookie of the Year race on the LPGA.]

[Update 3 (11/13/08, 12:48 pm): Busy on this end, so missed The Florida Masochist's take on Shin's win.]

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