Sunday, April 5, 2009

Yamaha Ladies Open Sunday: Ah-Reum Hwang Routs the Field

2nd-round leader Ah-Reum Hwang, a 21-year-old graduate of the Step-Up Tour, where she won twice last season, took control of the Yamaha Ladies Open with 4 birdies in her 1st 8 holes and never looked back today, winning by 8 shots over Erina Hara, Ji-Woo Lee, and Julie Lu on the strength of a bogey-free 65.

1st/-11 Ah-Reum Hwang (73-67-65)
T2/-3 Julie Lu (74-70-69), Ji-Woo Lee (72-71-70), Erina Hara (73-68-72)
5th/-1 Yuko Mitsuka (73-73-69)
6th/E Junko Omote (72-72-72)
T7/+1 Nikki Campbell (73-74-70), Hiromi Mogi (75-71-71), Kaori Aoyama (73-73-71), Kuniko Maeda (71-75-71), Ritsuko Ryu (73-72-72), Yasuko Satoh (73-72-72), Bo-Bae Song (72-73-72), Ayako Uehara (72-73-72), Hyun-Ju Shin (71-74-72), Mi-Jeong Jeon (73-69-75)

T17/+2 Sakurako Mori (72-75-71), So-Hee Kim (74-71-73), Mie Nakata (71-70-77)
T20/+3 Yuko Saitoh (75-72-72), Midori Yoneyama (70-76-73)
T24/+4 Miki Saiki (74-77-69), Maiko Wakabayashi (78-70-72)
T30/+5 Hiroko Yamaguchi (76-74-71)
T36/+6 Shinobu Moromizato (75-75-72), Saiki Fujita (73-76-73)
T42/+7 Akane Iijima (77-72-74)
T44/+8 Yuki Ichinose (75-75-74), Rui Kitada (75-74-75)
T46/+9 Yun-Jye Wei (75-75-75)
T49/+10 Chie Arimura (78-73-75)
[WD or DQ: Mayu Hattori]

So in the end it was Hwang for whom the 3rd time was the charm, not Hara, as I had anticipated yesterday. Hwang had notched a top 20 in the JLPGA's 1st event and finished 2nd behind Ayako Uehara in the rain-shortened 2nd event, and with her win this week has already won more this season than she did all last season. Meanwhile, the big names in this week's field who finished far behind her--and those struggling at Mission Hills--have some catching up to do in the 4-week run-up to the JLPGA's 1st major, the Salonpas Cup.

Here's how the JLPGA money list now looks:

1. Ah-Reum Hwang ¥20.11M
2. Yuko Mitsuka ¥18.92M
3. Ayako Uehara ¥18.78M
4. Erina Hara ¥12.13M
5. Ji-Woo Lee ¥7.02M
6. Julie Lu ¥6.24M
7. Midori Yoneyama ¥6.19M
8. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥5.77M
9. Sakura Yokomine ¥5.24M
10. Bo-Bae Song, Hiromi Mogi ¥5.10M
12. Miho Koga ¥4.63M

Next up is the Studio Alice Ladies Open, which despite its tied-for-smallest purse on the JLPGA schedule, boasts a strong field that includes the visiting Ji-Yai Shin. Should be interesting!

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