I never liked Ai Miyazato's decision to play in the Suntory Ladies Open this week, and after her opening-round birdie-less 75 that put her in a tie for 75th place, I was even less happy about it. But she stormed back today with 3 birdies and no bogeys in her last 13 holes to make the cut with a stroke to spare, climbing to 41st with the weekend still to be played, so at least she's given herself a chance to still win the tournament. In fact, she's only 6 out of the lead, which is shared by young guns Shinobu Moromizato and Na Zhang, rookie Rikako Morita, Aussie expat Nikki Campbell, and amateur Ha-Na Jang.
Here are the 1st- and 2nd-round results:
T1/-5 Na Zhang (70-69), Nikki Campbell (70-69), Shinobu Moromizato (69-70), Rikako Morita (69-70), Ha-Na Jang (68-71)
T6/-4 Saiki Fujita (73-67), Maiko Wakabayashi (72-68), Rui Kitada (72-68), Mika Takushima (71-69), Toshimi Kimura (69-71)
T11/-3 Chie Arimura (73-68), Hiromi Mogi (73-68)
T15/-2 Tamie Durdin (75-67), Li-Ying Ye (74-68), Sakura Yokomine (71-71)
T20/-1 Akane Iijima (74-69), Bo-Bae Song (74-69), Mi-Jeong Jeon (70-73), Yuki Ichinose (67-76)
T30/E Ji-Hee Lee (73-71), Akiko Fukushima (73-71), Mie Nakata (73-71), Kumiko Kaneda (73-71), Yuko Mitsuka (71-73), Ayako Uehara (69-75), Yukari Baba (68-76)
T41/+1 Ai Miyazato (75-70), Miho Koga (75-70), Eun-A Lim (75-70), Mayu Hattori (75-70), Mai Arai (73-72), Yuri Fudoh (72-73)
T49/+2 Ah-Reum Hwang (76-70), Yuki Sakurai (74-72), Hiroko Yamaguchi (74-72)
As you can see, the scoring has not only been high, but also uneven. Nobody's broken 70 twice, and most everyone in the top 30 either mounted a major bounceback or fell back sharply from a great 1st round. And Ai-chan was certainly not alone in storming back to make the cut. But everyone would be a few more back if Morita had not made an early double and 2 late bogeys.
Some very good golfers missed the cut:
T62/+3 Yun-Jye Wei (75-72), Hyun-Ju Shin (74-73), Erina Hara (72-75), Ji-Woo Lee (72-75)
T73/+4 Midori Yoneyama (75-73), Kaori Higo (73-75)
T87/+5 Da-Ye Na (73-76)
T97/+6 Sakurako Mori (78-72), Esther Lee (78-72)
T102/+7 Woo-Soon Ko (76-75)
T112/+9 Riko Higashio (79-74)
With more experience in 4-round tournaments than most of her competition, I'm hoping Ai-chan can make a big move on moving day. There have only been 4 67s shot all week thus far. If she can go lower than that tomorrow, she'll be right back in this thing. Crossing my fingers for her...and looking forward to watching some of this on TV this weekend, if Chiba TV decides to air it, that is.