Sunday, September 27, 2009

Miyagi TV Cup Dunlop Ladies Open Sunday: Arimura on Track for Win #4 in '09

Scoring conditions have continued to be challenging at the Miyagi TV Cup Dunlop Ladies Open, but even though Chie Arimura saw a 3-shot lead on Momoko Ueda dwindle to 1 over yesterday's round's last 2 holes and to 0 on the 1st hole of today's round, she's stayed calm, played steady golf, and has opened up another 3-shot lead with 5 holes left to play. Arimura birdied the 8th hole today to return to double digits under par for the 1st time since the 17th yesterday, but by then Ueda had twice made bogeys to offset her early birdies. Even an Arimura bogey on the par-4 9th to drop her to -9 for the tournament didn't hurt her, as Ueda failed to cut into her 2-shot lead. And it was Ueda who was the 1st to blink on the back, bogeying the par-4 12th to drop to -6, just 1 shot ahead of a charging Hiromi Mogi, who birdied 3 of her 1st 5 holes on the back (but only has 3 holes left to go). Once the JLPGA lifts its online blackout--or whenever I wake up, whichever comes later--I'll be back with the final results.

[Update 1 (12:16 am): I can give you the scores of those who finished their rounds early today:

E Miki Saiki (71-75-70), Yun-Jye Wei (67-79-70)
+1 Na-Ri Lee (71-75-71)
+2 Hyun-Ju Shin (73-74-71), Mayu Hattori (71-75-72)
+4 Tamie Durdin (72-76-72), Bo-Kyung Kim (72-75-73), Shinobu Moromizato (72-74-74)
+8 Woo-Soon Ko (74-73-77), Ayako Uehara (72-75-77)
+9 Esther Lee (75-72-78)
+12 Rikako Morita (74-74-80)

Wonder if exhaustion is setting in on Moromizato. She'll need a quick turnaround from her last 2 results if she wants to keep her Grand Slam hopes alive in next week's Japan Women's Open! More later....]

[Update 2 (7:17 am): The results are in and Arimura held off mini-charges from Ueda and Sakura Yokomine. The 4-time winner on the JLPGA this season--who's now gotten her last 3 of them in her last 8 events, during which she finished out of the top 4 only once (11th)--played her last 5 holes in 1-under, while Ueda and Yokomine played them in 2-under.

1st/-10 Chie Arimura (70-65-71)
2nd/-8 Momoko Ueda (67-69-72)
3rd/-5 Sakura Yokomine (70-70-71)
T4/-2 Ji-Hee Lee (71-72-69), Hiromi Mogi (69-73-70), Yuko Mitsuka (71-70-71)
7th/-3 Yuki Ichinose (69-71-73)
8th/-2 Kaori Aoyama (71-73-70)
9th/-1 Miho Koga (72-71-72)
T10/E Miki Saiki (71-75-70), Yun-Jye Wei (67-79-70)

T12/+1 Na-Ri Lee (71-75-71), Bo-Bae Song (72-71-74)
T17/+2 Hyun-Ju Shin (73-74-71), Mayu Hattori (71-75-72)
19th/+3 Midori Yoneyama (72-73-74)
T20/+4 Tamie Durdin (72-76-72), Bo-Kyung Kim (72-75-73), Shinobu Moromizato (72-74-74)
T26/+5 Yukari Baba (74-75-72)
T28/+6 Maiko Wakabayashi (73-73-76)
T36/+8 Woo-Soon Ko (74-73-77), Ayako Uehara (72-75-77), Yuko Saitoh (72-77-75)
T44/+9 So-Hee Kim (73-76-76), Ji-Woo Lee (74-72-79), Esther Lee (75-72-78)
51st/+12 Rikako Morita (74-74-80)

With the exception of Moromizato, looks like the biggest of the JLPGA's big guns (and visitors) are peaking for the JWO!]

[Update 3 (7:33 am): I'd say there's now a Big 4 on the JLPGA (based on the money list alone):

1. Shinobu Moromizato ¥134.99M
2. Sakura Yokomine ¥108.60M
3. Chie Arimura ¥102.46M
4. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥95.74M
5. Yuko Mitsuka ¥67.15M
6. Ji-Hee Lee ¥54.06M
7. Miho Koga ¥52.43M
8. Yukari Baba ¥43.43M
9. Yuko Saitoh ¥41.24M
10. Eun-A Lim ¥36.63M
11. Ayako Uehara ¥32.75M
12. Erina Hara ¥32.51M
13. Yuri Fudoh ¥32.38M
14. Ah-Reum Hwang ¥30.88M
15. Akiko Fukushima ¥30.10M
16. Rikako Morita ¥27.41M
17. Tamie Durdin ¥27.20M
18. Momoko Ueda ¥26.31M
19. Miki Saiki ¥26.06M
20. Rui Kitada ¥25.90M
21. Maiko Wakabayashi ¥25.81M
22. Nikki Campbell ¥25.39M
23. Midori Yoneyama ¥24.55M
24. Hiromi Mogi ¥24.49M
25. Na-Ri Lee ¥24.22M
26. Li-Ying Ye ¥23.35M
27. Ji-Woo Lee ¥23.26M
28. Saiki Fujita ¥22.34M
29. Kaori Aoyama ¥21.31M
30. Hyun-Ju Shin ¥19.67M
31. Bo-Bae Song ¥19.04M
32. So-Hee Kim ¥18.63M
33. Akane Iijima ¥15.70M
34. Mie Nakata ¥15.51M
35. Maria Iida ¥14.35M

Momoko Ueda jumped into the top 20 in her 6th JLPGA event this season. If she plays as well as she's capable next week, she could move into the top 10. That says something about the inconsistency of those from #10 to #17 on the list this season, but it also says something about how much talent Momo-chan has. Whether she can catch Koga, Lee, and Mitsuka despite their huge head starts is another story. And I doubt she can join Moromizato, Yokomine, Arimura, and (soon) Jeon in the 100 Million Yen Club. But who knows? She could run the table the rest of the season, but as Arimura's tenacity with the lead this week shows, the JLPGA's Big 4 and Top 7 don't lay down for anyone.]

[Update 4 (9:21 am): No youtube clips of Arimura's victory that I can find out there right now, but I did turn up this nice profile of her that aired on Japanese tv after her last win:

Wonder if there'll ever come a day when the LPGA's top players are as big stars in the U.S. as the JLPGA's are in Japan?]

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