The leaderboard at the Daikin Orchid Ladies is packed after round 1. Last year's Rookie of the Year Rikako Morita made 3 birdies on each side on her way to a tournament-leading 67, and fellow Young Gun Ritsuko Ryu matched her birdie-for-birdie but ended up 1 back. Living legend Yuri Fudoh came out ready to play but ran out of steam, bogeying the 17th and failing to birdie the 18th hole that each of the other top 11 players in the field birdied, so she had to settle for a 69. Momoko Ueda made a bunch of birdies and almost as many bogeys, but still shot a 70. Ai Miyazato matched her, thanks to a birdie drought that began midway through the front after she fell off a 3-hole birdie train and ran the rest of her round; to add to the indignity, her bogey-free run ended on the 365-yard par-4 15th, which 7 of the top 12 players had birdied. Ji-Yai Shin also got off to a fast start, making birdies on 3 of her 1st 4 holes, but she faltered on the back and ended up with a 71.
1st/-5 Rikako Morita (67)
2nd/-4 Ritsuko Ryu (68)
T3/-3 Yuri Fudoh, Sun Ju Ahn, Bo-Bae Song, Ayako Uehara, Yukari Baba (69)
T8/-2 Ai Miyazato, Momoko Ueda, Nikki Campbell, So-Hee Kim, and 6 others (70)
T18/-1 Ji-Yai Shin, Hyun-Ju Shin, Inbee Park, Teresa Lu, Young Kim, Akiko Fukushima (71)
T29/E Sakura Yokomine, Shinobu Moromizato, Chie Arimura, Mi-Jeong Jeon, Miho Koga, Maiko Wakabayashi (72)
T44/+1 Erina Hara, Miki Saiki, Saiki Fujita, Hiromi Mogi (73)
T53/+2 Akane Iijima, Rui Kitada, Ji-Woo Lee, Yuki Ichinose (74)
T63/+3 Ji-Hee Lee, Na-Ri Kim, Mayu Hattori, Kumiko Kaneda (75)
T80/+4 Yuko Mitsuka (76)
T88/+5 Eun-Lim, Jae-Hee Bae (77)
T96/+6 Sakurako Mori, Li-Ying Ye (78)
T101/+7 Seon Hwa Lee, Ai-Yu Tu (79)
Amazingly bad performance by the Stone Buddha--wonder what's up with that? Slow starts from Mitsuka, Ji-Hee Lee, and Hara, as well. With only 36 holes to go, they'll need to shoot mid-60s or better to get back into contention. With all the high-quality foreigners on tour now, it's going to be harder to make cuts. Tomorrow should be very interesting!