Friday, May 14, 2010

Fundokin Ladies Friday: Yokomine-Fudoh Showdown Looming?

Last week, Sakura Yokomine became the youngest player in JLPGA history to break the 600 million yen barrier in career winnings, breaking Yuri Fudoh's record by almost 3 years (in age) and a few months (by seasons on tour). Today, playing 2 groups apart, Fudoh and Yokomine matched Hyun-Ju Shin's opening 69 to share the lead in the Fundokin Ladies. 2 shots behind them is the #2 player on the career money list, Akiko Fukushima, who's some 170 million yen behind Fudoh and 250 million yen ahead of Yokomine. Meanwhile, Sun-Ju Ahn, the ex-KLPGA star who's in the running for both rookie and player of the year, is looking to catch Inbee Park, who leads both races but is back on the LPGA, but took a double bogey on the 312-yard par-4 10th and had to settle for a 72. Park's LPGA compatriots, Teresa Lu (72) and Seon Hwa Lee (73), are the only dual JLPGA members not to be playing in the Bell Micro Classic in Alabama. Let's see if they can catch the JLPGA's finest over the last 36 holes.

Here's how the top 10 and notables did today:

T1/-3 Yuri Fudoh, Sakura Yokomine, Hyun-Ju Shin (69)
4th/-2 Yukari Baba (70)
T5/-1 Akiko Fukushima, Saiki Fujita, Asako Fujimoto, Sakurako Mori (71)
T9/E Sun-Ju Ahn, Teresa Lu, Yayoi Arasaki, Rui Yokomine, Hsiu-Feng Tseng (72)

T14/+1 Seon Hwa Lee, Shinobu Moromizato, Rui Kitada, Eun-A Lim, Mayu Hattori, Rikako Morita, Na-Ri Kim, Esther Lee, Na-Ri Lee (73)
T28/+2 Ji-Hee Lee, Hiromi Mogi, Ji-Woo Lee, Yuko Saitoh (74)
T36/+3 Chie Arimura, Ayako Uehara, Miki Saiki, Maiko Wakabayashi, Ritsuko Ryu, So-Hee Kim (75)
T49/+4 Miho Koga, Nikki Campbell, Tamie Durdin, Erina Hara, Ai-Yu Tu (76)
T58/+5 Yun-Jye Wei, Ah-Reum Hwang, Jae-Hee Bae (77)
T66/+6 Akane Iijima, Li-Ying Ye, Yuki Ichinose (78)
107th/+19 Riko Higashio (91)

With Mi-Jeong Jeon, Young Kim, and, of course, Yuko Mitsuka not playing this week, it's looking like Ji-Hee Lee, Chie Arimura, and Miho Koga are squandering a big opportunity. But a lot can happen in 36 holes. Stay tuned!

[Update 1 (8:00 am): Check out the LET leaderboard today, where 2nd-round action is on. LPGAer Linda Wessberg is leading, while Iben Tinning, Ashleigh Simon, and Helen Alfredsson are in the hunt. Further back are Laura Davies, Alison Walshe, Kristie Smith, Anja Monke, and Kim Welch. Near the cut line are Mollie Fankhauser, Jeehae Lee, Mallory Blackwelder, and Hannah Jun. Carin Koch will need a great round today just to make the cut.]

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