Friday, March 12, 2010

Yokohama Tire PRGR Ladies Cup Friday: Morita Opens with 67 for 2nd Week In a Row

JLPGA Super Soph Rikako Morita has fired her 2nd-straight opening 67 of 2010, which just like last week has given her a 1-shot lead in this week's Yokohama Tire PRGR Ladies Cup heading into the weekend. Her bogey-free performance has opened up a fairly large lead on some of the JLPGA's biggest names, such as last year's Player of the Year and money-list queen Sakura Yokomine (70), living legend and Billion-Yen Barrier Breaker Yuri Fudoh (72), and last week's winner Sun Ju Ahn (72), not to mention the rest of the JLPGA's finest and irregulars from the LPGA, including Na-Ri Kim (72), Momoko Ueda (73), Teresa Lu (73), Inbee Park (74), and Young Kim (74). We'll see if Morita can do better this weekend than her 77-75 performance last one. With Ai Miyazato, Ji-Yai Shin, and Seon Hwa Lee sitting this week out, it's a great opportunity for last year's JLPGA Rookie of the Year to snag her 1st career win on the big tour.

Here's how the top 10 and notables stand:

1st/-5 Rikako Morita (67)
T2/-4 Mie Nakata, Kyoko Kadokawa (68)
T4/-3 Yun-Jye Wei, Mika Takushima (69)
T6/-2 Sakura Yokomine, Rui Kitada, Yeo-Jin Kang (70)
T9/-1 Eun-A Lim, Akane Iijima, Hiromi Mogi, Ji-Woo Lee, So-Hee Kim, and 4 others (71)

T18/E Yuri Fudoh, Sun Ju Ahn, Na-Ri Kim, Maiko Wakabayashi, Kaori Aoyama, Na-Ri Lee (72)
T30/+1 Momoko Ueda, Shinobu Moromizato, Mi-Jeong Jeon, Miho Koga, Akiko Fukushima, Teresa Lu, Yukari Baba, Miki Saiki, Mayu Hattori, Yuko Saitoh, Nikki Campbell (73)
T51/+2 Ji-Hee Lee, Inbee Park, Young Kim, Bo-Bae Song, Yuko Mitsuka, Ayako Uehara, Hyun-Ju Shin, Saiki Fujita (74)
T70/+3 Chie Arimura, Sakurako Mori (75)
T80/+4 Esther Lee (76)
T84/+5 Ritsuko Ryu (77)
T95/+7 Jae-Hee Bae (79)
108th/+11 Erina Hara (83)

Some weak finishes by good players: Mitsuka closed out her round bogey-triple, while Hara finished bogey-par-triple-double-par. It's not easy out there!

[Update 1 (5:24 am): Speaking of not easy, Americans on the LET's Down Under swing are finding it tough going this week on the Women's Australian Open. Christina Kim and Diana D'Alessio barely made the cut, but Amanda Blumenherst, Meaghan Francella, Alison Walshe, and Taylor Leon weren't so fortunate. That leaves Stacy Lewis and Alexis Thompson 7 shots and Vicky Hurst and Mina Harigae 9 off the pace set by leader Giulia Sergas.]

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