Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mata-ne, Momo-chan: Ueda Going Back to the JLPGA for the Rest of the Season

From Momoko Ueda's post-final round interview at the Canadian Women's Open:

MOMOKO UEDA: (via translator) This is going to be my last event in the mainland, but if there are any other events to play, I'd like to play them.

Looks like Momo-chan has decided to take a run at Shinobu Moromizato, Sakura Yokomine, Mi-Jeong Jeon, Chie Arimura, and the rest of the JLPGA's finest the rest of the season. She can end up playing as many as 16 events--and 3 majors--there this year by doing so. And I guess she figured there's no time like the present for improving on her #26 standing on the JLPGA money list. Her runner-up at the CWO moved her to #31 on the LPGA money list, so with the money she's likely to make at the Mizuno Classic, she still has a chance to better last year's winnings ($413.6K) and standing (#45). I'll take a look at her improvement in her key performance stats from last season after the Mizuno.

Now that I think about it, though, I'm really hoping she didn't mean that "last event in the mainland" business literally--or that her translator was being imprecise....


courtgolf said...

That's a bit of a surprise. Ueda finally puts a solid tournament together, then jumps ship ?

I guess you could look at it two ways...(1) take the momentum and run somewhere you're going to be playing more than a few more weeks, but for less money - or (2) see if there are two or more weeks in this LPGA streak. They'll be in Japan the first week of November anyway.

The Constructivist said...

I've written about this before, but was interested to see how this would actually play out. My sense is that Momo-chan's found this LPGA season much more frustrating than her rookie year and decided to focus on the JLPGA majors this week and at the end of the month. Once she made that decision, the rest was easy: better to wait for the LPGA to come to you. If she happens to win Mizuno, she might get an invite to Lorena's event; she could still decide to play the tour championship the week before the JLPGA's final major. But with the fall schedule getting decimated, I can see why she'd just decide to shut it down for the season on the LPGA and see how high she can climb on the money list for the JLPGA. Remember, last year, she made more money in Japan than outside it. That could easily happen again this year--and should.