Saturday, March 6, 2010

Daikin Orchid Ladies Saturday: JLPGA Veterans Moving on Moving Day

JLPGA veterans Yui Kawahara, Yuko Saitoh, and Junko Omote are showing the tour's young guns a thing or 2 about taking advantage of moving day in the 2nd round of the Daikin Orchid Ladies. Saitoh and Kawahara posted the 1st 69s of the day to move up to T26 (E) and T19 (-1), respectively. Their only blemishes came on the challenging par-4 17th. We'll see if leader Omote can avoid their mistake. She's playing bogey-free golf today and, at -4 through 13 holes, stands alone at -6 overall.

Even though 1st-round leaders Rikako Morita and Ritsuko Ryu are having trouble getting out of the gates (both are +1 through 11), that doesn't mean the rest of the JLPGA's youngsters are standing aside while their elders make runs at the top of the leaderboard. KLPGA transplant and JLPGA rookie Sun Ju Ahn has made 3 birdies in her last 9 holes to catch Okinawan Ayako Uehara, who's made 3 birdies and 1 bogey in her 1st 12 holes herself, at -5 overall. Uehara's countrywoman Ai Miyazato is showing why she's ranked #3 in the world and gunning for her 3rd straight worldwide victory. After an uncharacteristic 38 on the front, she's come out firing on the back, making 3 birdies in her 1st 4 holes to get back within 3 of the lead. Meanwhile, 2 players who were in contention for money list queen on the back 9 of the final tournament of 2009 made big runs of their own. After a bad start, Shinobu Moromizato played her last 15 holes bogey-free; her 5 birdies in that stretch gave her a 69 today and brought her back to -3 on the tournament. And Chie Arimura did her 1 better on both counts, thanks to a birdie-eagle finish.

In less happy news, 73s by the previous 2 season's money list queens, Sakura Yokomine and Miho Koga, dropped them out of contention. And disastrous days by Teresa Lu, Akiko Fukushima, Erina Hara, Maiko Wakabayashi, Riko Higashio, Jae-Hee Bae, Na-Ri Kim, and Yuko Mitsuka mean that their tournament is over. Seon Hwa Lee bounced back with a 73, but it was too little, too late--plus, it appears she WDed rather than taking an MC. Waiting to see whether they'll get to play Sunday are Ji-Hee Lee and Mayu Hattori, who both posted 72s to remain at +3 overall (T49 right now). Young Kim is one of the many players on the bubble as she heads into her final holes. More soon!

[Update 1 (12:04 am): Nice 32 on the back by Kaori Aoyama to fire a 69 of her own and move to -3 overall (T7 right now with Moromizato).]

[Update 2 (12:10 am): Mi-Jeong Jeon became the 1st player on the 1st page of the leaderboard to fail to birdie the par-5 18th, so she had to accept a 70 today. Still, she played her last 11 holes bogey-free in -3 to move to -2 overall. A great round tomorrow could still get her a win.]

[Update 3 (12:14 am): Look out! Bo-Bae Song, who got 2 wins last season against perhaps the 2 toughest fields of the year, has just birdied 3 of her 1st 5 holes on the back to move to -5 overall, tied with Ahn and Uehara, and still 1 behind Omote.]

[Update 4 (12:16 am): Uh-oh! Omote made her 1st bogey of the day on the par-4 15th, which fellow veteran Maria Iida had earlier eagled. It's now a 4-way tie for the lead at -5!]

[Update 5 (12:20 am): Ji-Yai Shin couldn't birdie the 18th, so she ends the day with a 72 and sits T18 at -1. Inbee Park did birdie it, so moved to -2 (T12) after her 2nd-straight 71.]

[Update 6 (12:22 am): Others definitely missing the cut include Akane Iijima, Kumiko Kaneda, Sakurako Mori, and Li-Ying Ye. The cut line remains at +4.]

[Update 7 (12:25 am): A bogey at 14 dropped Uehara back to -4, T4 right now with Arimura.]

[Update 8 (12:29 am): Just a quick observation on how well Ai-sama is playing. She was 1 of only 3 players today to birdie the tough par-3 13th, a hole that saw loads of bogeys and a large number of doubles.]

[Update 9 (1:13 am): Have I mentioned before how much I hate the JLPGA's "live-scoring tv timeout" policy?]

[Update 10 (7:41 am): Here are the final results for round 2--ended up being moving backwards day for all too many top players:

T1/-5 Sun Ju Ahn (69-70), Ayako Uehara (69-70), Yukari Baba (69-70)
T4/-4 Chie Arimura (72-68), Bo-Bae Song (69-71)
T6/-3 Shinobu Moromizato (72-69), Kaori Aoyama (72-69), Ai Miyazato (70-71), Junko Omote (70-71), Hiroko Ayada (70-71), Yuri Fudoh (69-72)

T12/-2 Mi-Jeong Jeon (72-70), Inbee Park (71-71), Ritsuko Ryu (68-74)
T15/-1 Saiki Fujita (73-70), Mie Nakata (72-71), Ji-Yai Shin (71-72)
T21/E Miki Saiki (73-71), Hiromi Mogi (73-71), Hyun-Ju Shin (71-73), Momoko Ueda (70-74), Nikki Campbell (70-74), So-Hee Kim (70-74), Rikako Morita (67-77)

T34/+1 Rui Kitada (74-71), Yuki Ichinose (74-71), Sakura Yokomine (72-73), Miho Koga (72-73)
T41/+2 Eun-A Lim (77-69)
T47/+3 Ji-Hee Lee (75-72), Mayu Hattori (75-72), Ji-Woo Lee (74-73), Young Kim (71-76)

T61/+4 Maiko Wakabayashi (72-76)
T68/+5 Kumiko Kaneda (75-74), Akane Iijima (74-75)
T76/+6 Li-Ying Ye (78-72), Yuko Mitsuka (76-74)
T82/+7 Sakurako Mori (78-73), Erina Hara (73-78), Akiko Fukushima (71-80)
T90/+8 Na-Ri Kim (75-77), Teresa Lu (71-81)
T100/+11 Ai-Yu Tu (79-76)
T103/+14 Jae-Hee Bae (77-81)

WD Seon Hwa Lee (79-WD)

Wow, some major collapses down the stretch!]

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