Sunday, October 4, 2009

Japan Women's Open Sunday: Song v. Yokomine

3rd-round leader in the Japan Women's Open Mika Miyazato had a 5-shot lead on Bo-Bae Song and a 6-shot lead on Akiko Fukushima as she teed up her ball on the 18th hole yesterday. But -12 was as low as she would go this week, it appears, as she followed up her walkoff bogey yesterday with 3 consecutive birdies to start her round today and followed it up with bogeys on the 11th and 15th to drop out of contention.

So when Song made her 4th and 5th birdies in her previous 14 holes (going back to the 10th hole on Saturday), the tables were turned: she then had a 2-shot lead on Miyazato. But then Song plateaued, making 7 straight pars and by then Sakura Yokomine had made her move. Even though she had squandered her opening eagle with a double bogey on the par-5 3rd, the former money-list leader for most of the 1st half of the JLPGA season rallied with 6 birdies in her next 11 holes to catch Song at -10. But then Song birdied the par-4 13th and Yokomine parred the 15th and 16th...and 17th.

So if Song can hold it together, she can not only top Yokomine, but also make all the other Sunday charges by players like Ai Miyazato (who peaked so far at -8 with 8 holes to go but has played the next 5 in +1) and Yuri Fudoh (who fought her way to -7 with 4 to play but has since made 3 straight pars) moot. If Yokomine can't birdie 18 and Song can play her last 3 holes at par or better, she'll have her 2nd career JLPGA win and 1st major. Stay tuned!

[Update 1 (2:28 am): Hold the presses! Yokomine did birdie 18!]

[Update 2 (2:40 am): Shinobu Moromizato's Grand Slam hopes are over, but at least she birdied 3 of her last 6 holes to pass Fudoh (who bogeyed 18) and catch Fukushima at -7 (who has 2 holes left to go). But Ai-sama's birdie on the par-5 17th brings her to -8, alone in 3rd. Song, however, couldn't birdie the par 5 and now needs to match Yokomine's walkoff birdie to avoid a playoff with her.]

[Update 3 (2:54 am): It's playoff time!]

[Update 4 (3:30 am): Here's how the top 10 and notables ended up:

T1/-11 Sakura Yokomine (70-68-74-65), Bo-Bae Song (69-69-71-68) [playoff in process]
3rd/-8 Ai Miyazato (73-71-68-68)
4th/-7 Shinobu Moromizato (72-70-70-69)
5th/-6 Yuri Fudoh (70-70-72-70)
T6/-5 Miho Koga (70-74-68-71), Miki Saiki (71-71-70-71), Akiko Fukushima (68-70-71-73), Mika Miyazato (67-68-70-78)
T10/-3 Mayu Hattori (70-76-70-69), Nikki Campbell (71-69-76-69), Momoko Ueda (71-72-69-73), Yukari Baba (67-73-72-73), Saiki Fujita (70-73-68-74)

T15/-2 Akane Iijima (74-73-68-71), Ji-Woo Lee (76-70-69-71), Hiromi Mogi (73-73-69-71), Mi-Jeong Jeon (73-72-68-73), Eun-A Lim (68-74-71-73)
21st/-1 Yuki Ichinose (75-73-66-73)
T25/+2 Ah-Reum Hwang (73-73-70-74), Ayako Uehara (70-74-70-76)
T29/+3 Midori Yoneyama (72-74-77-68), Chie Arimura (75-70-72-74)
T31/+4 Rui Kitada (71-71-79-71), Eun-Hee Ji (70-76-73-73)
T36/+5 Hyun-Ju Shin (71-73-77-72), Tamie Durdin (68-78-73-74), Yun-Jye Wei (73-72-73-75)
T41/+6 Ji-Hee Lee (71-75-73-75), Yuko Saitoh (73-70-76-75), Sakurako Mori (74-74-69-77), Li-Ying Ye (73-74-70-77)
T47/+7 Rikako Morita (72-76-74-73), Yuko Mitsuka (73-72-74-76)
T50/+8 Woo-Soon Ko (72-72-77-75)
T53/+10 Na-Ri Lee (76-73-74-75)
T55/+11 Mai Arai (74-75-78-72), Esther Lee (77-72-75-75)]

[Update 5 (3:32 am): Song won the playoff! Don't know how....]

[Update 6 (4:18 am): Here's the new money list:

1. Shinobu Moromizato ¥141.99M
2. Sakura Yokomine ¥124.00M
3. Chie Arimura ¥103.48M
4. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥97.22M
5. Yuko Mitsuka ¥67.87M
6. Miho Koga ¥56.39M
7. Ji-Hee Lee ¥54.84M
8. Bo-Bae Song ¥47.04M
9. Yukari Baba ¥45.63M
10. Yuko Saitoh ¥42.02M
11. Yuri Fudoh ¥38.26M
12. Eun-A Lim ¥38.11M
13. Akiko Fukushima ¥34.05M
14. Ayako Uehara ¥33.86M
15. Erina Hara ¥32.51M
16. Ah-Reum Hwang ¥31.99M
17. Miki Saiki ¥30.01M
18. Momoko Ueda ¥28.51M
19. Rikako Morita ¥28.13M
20. Tamie Durdin ¥28.05M
21. Nikki Campbell ¥27.59M
22. Rui Kitada ¥26.83M
23. Hiromi Mogi ¥25.96M
24. Maiko Wakabayashi ¥25.81M
25. Midori Yoneyama ¥25.58M
26. Na-Ri Lee ¥24.86M
27. Ji-Woo Lee ¥24.74M
28. Saiki Fujita ¥24.54M
29. Li-Ying Ye ¥24.13M
30. Kaori Aoyama ¥21.31M
31. Hyun-Ju Shin ¥20.53M
32. So-Hee Kim ¥18.63M
33. Akane Iijima ¥17.17M
34. Mayu Hattori ¥15.61M
35. Mie Nakata ¥15.51M

Ai Miyazato is now 37th on the money list, in only 4 JLPGA events thus far this season. It'll be interesting to see how many she plays leading up to the Mizuno Classic.]

[Update 7 (10/7/09, 9:40 am): Mi-Jeong Jeon alerted the Seoul crew that there's video highlights of all 4 rounds. And check the crowds in the pictures some of the regulars posted there!]

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