Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ricoh Cup Saturday: Iijima Shoots 65 to Take 3-Shot Lead into Final Round

Akane Iijima went off on moving day at the Ricoh Cup. She opened with a pair of birdies, then fired a trio just before finishing the front, where she shot a 31. Another pair of birdies early on the back got her to -7 on the day, where she ended up, thanks to her lone bogey on the par-4 15th, which she offset with her last birdie of the day on the par-4 17th.

Iijima's 65 vaulted her to -8 for the tournament, putting her 3 shots up on Mayu Hattori, who had eagled the par-5 9th for a 32 on the front, but had to settle for a 68 in the end when she nullified her 2 birdies on the back with 2 bogeys. Also shooting a 68 today was 2-time winner in '09 Bo-Bae Song, thanks to 5 birdies in her last 13 holes. She moved into a tie for 3rd with Shinobu Moromizato (70), who opened up a 1-shot lead on Sakura Yokomine (73) and a 2-shot lead on Chie Arimura (71) in the race for the money-list title. Leader in the previous 2 rounds Momoko Ueda struggled to a birdieless 75, dropping her into a tie at -2 with fellow LPGA standout Ai Miyazato, who bounced back from a slow start with 2 straight late birdies to salvage a 71.

Here's how everyone stands heading into the final round:

1st/-8 Akane Iijima (74-69-65)
2nd/-5 Mayu Hattori (75-68-68)
T3/-4 Bo-Bae Song (73-71-68), Shinobu Moromizato (73-69-70)
T5/-3 Ji-Hee Lee (72-70-71), Miho Koga (71-71-71), Sakura Yokomine (69-71-73)
T8/-2 Miki Saiki (74-71-69), Ai Miyazato (74-69-71), Chie Arimura (73-70-71), Eun-A Lim (70-73-71), Yukari Baba (72-68-74), Momoko Ueda (69-70-75)

14th/E Mi-Jeong Jeon (72-70-74)
15th/+1 Nikki Campbell (73-73-71)
16th/+3 Ayako Uehara (72-75-72)
17th/+6 Ah-Reum Hwang (72-76-74)
18th/+7 Akiko Fukushima (76-74-73)
T19/+8 Yuko Saitoh (77-72-75), Tamie Durdin (72-75-77)
21st/+9 Rui Kitada (76-72-77)
22nd/+10 Erina Hara (70-80-76)
23rd/+12 Yuri Fudoh (78-77-73)

Yokomine must have been feeling the pressure early on. She bogeyed the par-4 4th and doubled the par-3 5th before righting the ship with birdies on 8, 15, and 17. Arimura got off to an even worse start, bogeying 4 holes in a row from the 2nd through 5th, but she played bogey-free golf from then on, with birdies on 9, 13, 15, 17, and 18. We'll see how everyone handles the pressure tomorrow!

[Update 1 (1:42 am): Meanwhile, on the JGTO, Ryo Ishikawa shot his 3rd-straight round in the 60s to catch 2nd-round leaders Shigeki Maruyama and defending champion Koumei Oda at -14 at the Casio World Open. Ai-sama's brothers slipped to -9 and -7; like her, they'll need to make quite a charge tomorrow to play the spoiler!]

1 comment:

John said...

Great result for Sakura, this will only add to the star power of the JLPGA Tour.

2010 JLPGA Tour is set to have 35 official events one up from this year. Schedule to be released on 12/15/09

Click on the link below for a brief interview after her win.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHkoeqxyX9U