Speaking of growing pains, learning curves, and expectations, the JLPGA's new guard faced some problems of their own in the 1st round of the Daikin Orchid Ladies. Rikako Morita and Yuki Sakurai opened with 75s, and they were the best of the bunch. Kumiko Kaneda could only manage a 76, while Mai Arai ballooned to a 79. Their peers with more JLPGA experience generally did better. Although Mayu Hattori struggled to a 77 and Chie Arimura to a 73, Maiko Wakabayashi (72), Yuki Ichinose (71), Miki Saiki (71), and Erina Hara (70) got off to solid starts.
But the day belonged to defending champion Bo-Bae Song and Sakura Yokomine, who both shot bogey-free 68s. If Shinobu Moromizato could have avoided a double bogey on her next-to-last hole, she would have had the outright lead, but as it is, she's tied with Ayako Uehara and Tamie Durdin for 3rd at -3.
Here are the top 10 and notables:
T1/-4 Sakura Yokomine, Bo-Bae Song (68)
T3/-3 Ayako Uehara, Shinobu Moromizato, Tamie Durdin (69)
T6/-2 Mi-Jeong Jeon, Yuko Mitsuka, Erina Hara (70)
T9/-1 Miho Koga, Hyun-Ju Shin, Miki Saiki, Akane Iijima, Nikki Campbell, Yuki Ichinose, Ah-Reum Hwang, Rui Yokomine, Yoko Inoue (71)
T19/E Yuri Fudoh, Maiko Wakabayashi, Mie Nakata (72)
T25/+1 Chie Arimura, Ji-Woo Lee, Yuko Saitoh (73)
T41/+2 Hiromi Mogi (74)
T56/+3 Hiroko Yamaguchi, Saiki Fujita, Yukari Baba, Rui Kitada, Riko Higashio, Yuki Sakurai, Rikako Morita (75)
T73/+4 Midori Yoneyama, Kumiko Kaneda (76)
T83/+5 Yun-Jye Wei, Mayu Hattori (77)
T90/+6 Woo-Soon Ko (78)
T97/+7 Kaori Higo, Mai Arai (79)
T105/+9 Esther Lee (81)
We'll see who among the new guard can bounce back and who among the big names can chase down Yokomine and Song tomorrow.