Yes, Sakura Yokomine is both the hottest and best player on the JLPGA right now. But Shinobu Moromizato is looking to become the tour's 2nd 3-time winner of 2009 this week at the Promise Ladies, thanks to her opening bogey-free 64. But the top of the leaderboard is packed with players looking to get their 2nd win of the season. Ji-Hee Lee is only 3 back (and would have been 1 closer without that walkoff bogey), Mi-Jeong Jeon is 5 behind, and Yuko Mitsuka and Tamie Durdin are 6 back, along with Yokomine herself and Miho Koga, who's still looking for her 1st win of the season.
Here's how the top 10 and notables stand heading into the weekend:
1st/-8 Shinobu Moromizato (64)
2nd/-6 Yui Kawahara (66)
T3/-5 Ji-Hee Lee, Yun-Jye Wei (67)
T5/-3 Mi-Jeong Jeon, Miki Saiki, Hiromi Takesue, Orie Fujino, Ai Nishikawa (69)
T10/-2 Sakura Yokomine, Yuko Mitsuka, Miho Koga, Tamie Durdin, Ji-Woo Lee, Rui Kitada, Yuki Ichinose, Kumiko Kameda, and 5 others
There are some big names who will need to make big moves tomorrow to get into contention.
T23/-1 Yuri Fudoh, Eun-A Lim, Erina Hara, Saiki Fujita, Rikako Morita, Mayu Hattori (71)
T37/E Chie Arimura, Akane Iijima, Li-Ying Ye, Mie Nakata, Sakurako Mori (72)
T53/+1 Akiko Fukushima, Yuko Saitoh, Nikki Campbell (73)
And there will be others struggling just to make the cut.
T62/+2 Ah-Reum Hwang, Yukari Baba, Ai-Yu Tu (74)
T73/+3 Midori Yoneyama, Julie Lu (75)
T83/+4 Hiromi Mogi (76)
T91/+5 Maiko Wakabayashi (77)
T96/+6 Esther Lee (78)
T100/+7 Mai Arai (79)
I'm already missing the Chiba TV coverage of the JLPGA. That 407-yard 18th hole is looking like a monster finishing hole. Back in Dunkirk, we don't even have basic cable hooked up.