Sunday, August 23, 2009

CAT Ladies Sunday: Moromizato Outduels Koga and Fukushima for Win #4 of '09

After the 1st 2 days of the CAT Ladies, a showdown was brewing between golfers who have been having a fantastic 2009 (Shinobu Moromizato and Eun-A Lim at -6, Sakura Yokomine at -5) and those in need of a spark to get as hot as they had been in 2008 (Miho Koga at -7, Akiko Fukushima at -6, Esther Lee at -5, Ji-Hee Lee at -4). And from the very 1st hole, most everyone in the hunt rose to the occasion.

It started with an eagle on the 1st hole, a 470-yard par 5, by Moromizato, who was playing with Yokomine and Lee in the penultimate group. She followed it up with birdies on the 2nd and 4th to get to -10 for the tournament. But Fukushima, who birdied her 1st 5 holes yesterday, birdied 5 of her 1st 6 to pass her at -11. Her playing partner Koga could only manage 1 birdie in that stretch, while Lim squandered her own opening eagle with a bogey on the 6th. At that point, the leaderboard looked like this:

Fukushima -11
Moromizato -10
Koga -8
Lim -7

But they were soon joined by 3 players in earlier groups who were really tearing up the course. After Fukushima settled for a 31 on the front with a bogey-birdie-par finish, and Moromizato and Koga converged on -9 with a bogey and a birdie, respectively, a 30 by Mayu Hattori, 3 birdies in her 1st 10 holes by Yukari Baba, and 3 birdies in her 1st 11 holes by Ji-Hee Lee brought them into the hunt at -7. As the lead group played the 12th, the leaderboard looked like this:

Fukushima -10 (after a bogey on 11)
Moromizato and Koga -9 (after Koga went birdie-bogey to start the back)
Hattori, Baba, and Lee -7 (after a double on 10 dropped Lim out of the lead pack)

Lim bounced back with back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th to return to -7, but since every one of the leaders but Hattori birdied the 484-yard par-5 13th, it didn't help her out all that much, especially when Moromizato birdied the 548-yard par-5 15th to join Fukushima at -11. A bogey on the 14th dropped Baba back to -7, and even 2 birdies down the stretch weren't enough to catch the leading trio. 3 birdies in her last 6 holes pulled Sakura Yokomine to -8, where she was joined by Hattori (whose birdie on 17 broke an 8-hole par train and helped her finish with a bogey-free 66, the best round of the tournament) and Ji-Hee Lee (whose bogey on the 17th dropped her out of contention).

So in the end it came down to the 3 players who got to double digits under par. Moromizato finished with 3 straight pars for a 68 that put her at -11, and then she had to wait and see what Fukushima and Koga would do. Fukushima's bogey on 17 dropped her to -10 with Koga, who ended up parring her last 5 holes for her 2nd-straight 70 that left her 1 short of Moromizato. And a Fukushima bogey on 18 forced her to settled for her 3rd-straight 70 that left her tied with Baba for 3rd. Moromizato became the 1st player on the JLPGA to win 4 times in 2009.

Here's how the top 10 and notables finished:

1st/-11 Shinobu Moromizato (69-71-68)
2nd/-10 Miho Koga (69-70-70)
T3/-9 Yukari Baba (70-72-68), Akiko Fukushima (70-70-70)
T5/-8 Mayu Hattori (74-71-66), Ji-Hee Lee (70-72-69), Sakura Yokomine (70-71-70)
8th/-7 Eun-A Lim (70-70-72)
T9/-6 Kaori Aoyama (71-72-70), Esther Lee (71-70-72)

T11/-5 Rui Kitada (73-72-69), Miki Saiki (72-73-69), Maiko Wakabayashi (70-75-69), Akane Iijima (69-76-69)
T18/-2 Na-Ri Lee (72-76-69), Mi-Jeong Jeon (74-73-70), Ji-Woo Lee (74-73-70)
T21/-1 Hyun-Ju Shin (75-73-70), Saiki Fujita (75-72-71), Ah-Reum Hwang (75-71-72), Shiho Oyama (76-69-73)
T28/E Li-Ying Ye (77-71-71), Erina Hara (75-72-72), Ayako Uehara (75-72-72), Rikako Morita (72-74-73), Yuko Mitsuka (70-75-74), Kumiko Kaneda (72-72-75)
T38/+1 So-Hee Kim (76-71-73), Tamie Durdin (72-75-73), Yuki Ichinose (70-75-75)
T43/+2 Yuko Saitoh (75-73-73), Midori Yoneyama (75-71-75), Yun-Jye Wei (73-73-75)
59th/+5 Julie Lu (72-72-80)
60th/+6 Woo-Soon Ko (72-75-78)

Moromizato has extended her lead on Yokomine on the money list and is now just 1 good tournament away from becoming the 1st to break the 100 million yen barrier in 2009:

1. Shinobu Moromizato ¥94.84M
2. Sakura Yokomine ¥82.32M
3. Chie Arimura ¥73.43M
4. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥68.88M
5. Yuko Mitsuka ¥64.15M
6. Ji-Hee Lee ¥46.97M
7. Miho Koga ¥39.66M
8. Yuko Saitoh ¥38.70M
9. Eun-A Lim ¥33.15M
10. Erina Hara ¥29.59M
11. Ah-Reum Hwang ¥28.86M
12. Akiko Fukushima ¥28.74M
13. Ayako Uehara ¥28.15M
14. Tamie Durdin ¥25.98M
15. Yukari Baba ¥25.02M
16. Rui Kitada ¥24.76M
17. Yuri Fudoh ¥22.73M
18. Midori Yoneyama ¥21.89M
19. Rikako Morita ¥21.57M
20. Ji-Woo Lee ¥21.37M
21. Li-Ying Ye ¥20.99M
22. Momoko Ueda ¥19.69M
23. Nikki Campbell ¥19.48M
24. Saiki Fujita ¥18.88M
25. Na-Ri Lee ¥18.64M
26. Maiko Wakabayashi ¥18.06M
27. Miki Saiki ¥18.05M
28. Hiromi Mogi ¥16.92M
29. So-Hee Kim ¥15.81M
30. Bo-Bae Song ¥15.05M

Mayu Hattori jumped to #49 and Esther Lee to #64 on the money list with their 1st top 10s of the season. Next up is the Yonex Ladies!

[Update 1 (8/24/09, 2:21 am): Can't wait for Happy Fan to give us the final results for this week's KLPGA event. Inbee Park is a co-leader by 1 over Sun Ju Ahn and Hye Jung Choi!]


LPGA Fan said...

Where in the world do you get all this current info.? Perhaps I'm just to old for all this latest tech stuff. I'm still trying to translate Japanese. Now that you have enlightened me about Shinobu Moromizato I can't locate photos of the JLPGA ladies playing in Japan. Whoa is me, LOL :~)

The Constructivist said...

My hitchhiker's guide to the JLPGA in the left sidebar is a good place to start. I need to update it a bit, but it's basically accurate.

They make realtime scoring available in English and you can click on players' names for profiles that have some English in them. But the reason I do what I do is because not enough is available in English there or anywhere else.

Witty Camelle said...

What does CAT stand for?