Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Atsui, Samui, Daijo Bu: Back to the JLPGA Edition

It's sequel time in this weekly Mostly Harmless feature on the hottest, coldest, and all-rightest players in the world of women's golf. We'll see how many of these JLPGA stars make next week's post-Corona Championship list!


Who are the hottest among the finest? Read on....

1. Ji-Hee Lee: No longer "looking for her 1st win" of '09, like I mentioned last week. Making 4 birdies in your last 5 holes on a Sunday will do that for you!

2. Sakura Yokomine: She was the victim of Lee's charge, but is still on a 19-event top-20 streak, with 2 wins, 8 top 5s, and 15 top 10s in that run.

3. Yuko Mitsuka: Last season ended well for her, with 3 straight top-5 finishes and 5 straight top 20s. She already has a win and 2 other top-5 finishes this season.

4. Erina Hara: She closed out last season with 4 straight top 20s, but no top 10s. This season, she already has 3 top-3 finishes in 5 starts.

5. Ji-Yai Shin: Despite her uncharacteristic final-round 77 last week, she got her 1st JLPGA top 10 in her last 3 starts there.

Honorable Mention

Bo-Bae Song: Having sat out last week's event, she's still riding a 4-event streak in which she hasn't finished worse than 7th. And she's not even putting well in '09 yet!

Eun-A Lim: She, too, sat out last week's event. But with 4 top 5s in her last 6 events of '08 and a T16 and a T9 this season, her lone missed cut is only her 3rd finish outside the top 20 in her last 14 starts.

Miho Koga: Just after I praised her consistency this season, she goes and finishes outside the top 20 for the 1st time! But she still has 2 wins in her last 6 starts, dating back to last season.

Mi-Jeong Jeon: WDed last week after failing to break 80 in bad weather conditions. Still feeling the effects of her 2nd thrown-away victory chance since the last event of 2008. But how many players in the world can say they had 2 such chances in their last 5 events?


This is the list you don't want to be on and especially near the top of--it consists of those golfers who have been playing the furthest below expectations so far in 2009.

1. Akiko Fukushima: Feast or famine last week--mostly famine. She needs to show more than flashes of brilliance to get off the cold list!

2. Shiho Oyama: Brought her frigid play from the LPGA over to Kumamoto, missing the cut in her 1st JLPGA appearance of '09.

3. Miki Saiki: DFL among those who made the cut last week isn't the way to break out of her post-LPGA Q-School funk.

4. Mayu Hattori: Made the cut last week, but still hasn't finished a tournament under par this season and has disappointed since getting her 1st career win and finishing 15th on the money list last season.

5. Yuki Ichinose: Another JLPGA young gun who's underperforming this season, she didn't break 80 last week for her 1st MC of '09.

Daijo Bu

Here's where I keep track of players threatening to break into the hot list.

1. Yuri Fudoh: Bounced back from her MC the previous week with her 2nd top 10 of the season last week--and right off the cold list.

2. Yuko Saitoh: Now riding a 5-event top-20 streak in '09, a nice bounceback from some seriously bad play in the 2nd half of '08.

3. Ji-Woo Lee: Couldn't keep her 2-event top-5 streak going last week, but at least she has a 3-event top-20 run to build onfor next week.

4. Momoko Ueda: Struggled before the home crowd in Kumamoto last week, but still managed a top 10.

5. Ai Miyazato: A threat to win every time she goes back to Japan. Wonder when the next time will be?

Honorable Mention

Ayako Uehara: Two disappointing results in a row drop her off the hot list and all the way down here.

Kumiko Kaneda: Made her 1st professional made cut her 1st professional top 10, thanks to a Sunday charge that took her off my cold list.

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