Saturday, December 5, 2009

Kyoraku Cup Saturday: Congratulations to Team Korea

Happy Fan has all the news over at the Seoul Sisters blog: Bo-Bae Song clinched the win for Team Korea in the Kyoraku Cup today, beating Miho Koga for the 2nd-straight day to do so. Here are the final results, along with my predictions:

Jeoung-Eun Lee (72) v. Yuri Fudoh (72) [adv. Japan] Korea 21-Japan 5
In-Kyung Kim (73) v. Akiko Fukushima (69) [adv. Korea] Korea 21-Japan 7
Bo Mi Lee (70) v. Yuko Saitoh (72) [adv. Japan] Korea 23-Japan 7
So Yeon Ryu (73) v. Yukari Baba (72) [adv. Korea] Korea 23-Japan 9
Bo-Bae Song (68) v. Miho Koga (70) [revenge Japan] Korea 25-Japan 9
Sun Young Yoo (69) v. Momoko Ueda (65) [adv. Japan] Korea 25-Japan 11
Eun-A Lim (71) v. Ai Miyazato (64) [adv. Japan] Korea 25-Japan 13
Mi-Jeong Jeon (74) v. Sakura Yokomine (71) [adv. Japan] Korea 25-Japan 15
Hee Kyung Seo (71) v. Chie Arimura (72) [adv. Korea] Korea 27-Japan 15
Eun-Hee Ji (71) v. Miki Saiki (75) [adv. Korea] Korea 29-Japan 15
Na Yeon Choi (72) v. Ayako Uehara (71) [adv. Korea] Korea 29-Japan 17
Ji-Yai Shin (73) v. Shinobu Moromizato (71) [adv. Korea] Korea 29-Japan 19

It wasn't 32-16 like I thought it would be, thanks to great play by the JLPGA's finest and some uninspired play by some of Team Korea's best players: Ji-Yai Shin, Na Yeon Choi, In-Kyung Kim, and Mi-Jeong Jeon. But in the end yesterday's deficit was just too big to make up. 15-9 today shows what Team Japan is capable of, at least. First time Ai-sama and Momo-chan have gone that low in a long time. Momo-chan's 33 on the tougher back side matched 33s by Seo, Choi, and Moromizato yesterday, while Ai-sama's 32 beat them all. It was the 2nd-lowest 9 of the event, behind Song's 31 on the front yesterday.

As far as team MVPs, I'd say that Hee Kyung Seo edged out Bo-Bae Song for that honor on Team Korea. Yes, Song beat Koga twice, which is an impressive accomplishment, but Seo beat 2 players who had better years than Koga, 1st Yokomine, then Arimura. Ji was also 2-0, too, but beating Uehara was much less impressive than either of Song's or Seo's 2nd wins (although beating Ai-sama in front of her home crowd can't be overestimated). On Team Japan, Okinawan Moromizato wins, almost by default. The only undefeated Japanese player this week beat Shin today in a virtually meaningless match, while her win against Bo Mi Lee yesterday was the difference between a 20-point and a 16-point deficit--a big deal, but basically too little, too late. It's not her fault, though, that she was the anchor both days. And she did what she had to do, despite the disappointment from last week of losing the JLPGA money-list title to Yokomine. So congratulations to Hee Kyung Seo and Shinobu Moromizato.

Head on over to Seoul to join in the celebration.

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