Saturday, March 13, 2010

Yokohama Tire PRGR Ladies Cup Saturday: Ahn Makes Another Move

Just like yesterday, recent history is repeating itself today at the Yokohama Tire PRGR Ladies Cup. Once again, KLPGA standout and JLPGA rookie Sun Ju Ahn has made a big move on moving day, firing a bogey-free 66 that brings her to -6 overall, 1 shot behind 1st-round leader and 2009's Rookie of the Year Rikako Morita (who played a much more solid 2nd round than last week's, despite today's walkoff bogey). But Ahn wasn't the only player to take advantage of moving day: U.S. Women's Open champion Inbee Park, Aussie Nikki Campbell, and Korean Esther Lee posted 66s, as well, while last year's Player of the Year Sakura Yokomine joined her in 2nd.

Here's how the top 10 and notables stand as they head into the final round.

1st/-7 Rikako Morita (67-70)
T2/-6 Sun Ju Ahn (72-66), Sakura Yokomine (70-68)
T4/-5 Nikki Campbell (73-66), Ji-Woo Lee (71-68), Akane Iijima (71-68), Yun-Jye Wei (69-70), Mie Nakata (68-71)
T9/-4 Inbee Park (74-66), Yuri Fudoh (72-68), Kaori Aoyama (72-68), Orie Fujino (72-68)

Park was -7 over her last 12 holes, including an eagle on the 315-yard par-4 16th that was amazingly matched by Campbell, trumped by Aoyama's eagle on the 392-yard par 4 6th, and overshadowed by Natsu Nagai's hole in one on the 163-yard 14th.

T13/-3 Midori Yoneyama (74-67), Miho Koga (73-68), Eun-A Lim (71-70),
Rui Kitada (70-71)
T20/-2 Esther Lee (76-66), Young Kim (74-68), Akiko Fukushima (73-69), Yukari Baba (73-69), Miki Saiki (73-69), Na-Ri Lee (72-70), So-Hee Kim (71-71)
T29/-1 Ayako Uehara (74-69), Momoko Ueda (73-70), Teresa Lu (73-70)
T36/E Sakurako Mori (75-69), Ji-Hee Lee (74-70), Hyun-Ju Shin (74-70), Shinobu Moromizato (73-71), Mi-Jeong Jeon (73-71), Hiromi Mogi (71-73)
T47/+1 Bo-Bae Song (74-71), Na-Ri Kim (72-73)

Lots of good players failed to make or sustain moves, of course, even though the scoring was generally lower today than yesterday. While Yoneyama was playing bogey-free golf, Fukushima doubled the short par-4 16th. Moromizato was +2 over her last 6 holes, Kim +2 over her last 3, and Jeon and Ueda both bogeyed the 187-yard 17th to mar otherwise fine rounds.

T63/+3 Yuko Mitsuka (74-73), Mayu Hattori (73-74), Maiko Wakabayashi (72-75)
T70/+4 Chie Arimura (75-73), Yuko Saitoh (73-75)
T77/+5 Saiki Fujita (74-75)
T83/+6 Jae-Hee Bae (79-71), Ritsuko Ryu (77-73)
T98/+10 Erina Hara (83-71)

But the real shock was seeing Arimura miss the cut, along with Mitsuka (Hara's 1st round was the shocking one; at least she got a moral victory today).

Be that as it may, Sunday's final round has a chance to be truly special. With 28 players within 5 shots of the lead, half the field has a chance to come from way back in the pack and steal this from the leaders in the final pairings. Or it could turn into an Ahn-Morita-Yokomine showdown. The possibilities are endless--stay tuned!

[Update 1 (4:22 am): Just like Ahn is trying to make it 2 in a row on the JLPGA, Karrie Webb is trying to make it 2 in a row on the LET/ALPG. She's putting the lights out and scrambling like crazy. Let's see how she handles the last 18 holes of her 4th event in a row. Katherine Hull and Ya Ni Tseng are in a great position to put some pressure on the Webb, Sergas, and Davies. Let's see if they or even darker horses like Stacy Lewis, Azahara Munoz, and Anna Nordqvist can post some early scores!]

No comments: