Chieko Amanuma's best season on the JLPGA was in 2001, when she won 5 times and finished 3rd on the money list, but she hasn't cracked the top 30 on the money list since 2006, the season she got her 6th and last career win. So far. An eagle on the 395-yard par-4 7th hole and a 31 on the front propelled her to a 66 on moving day that allowed her to pull even with Hyun-Ju Shin, who matched yesterday's 67 today at the JMA Engineering Women's Open with the help of a back-9 32. They have a 2-shot lead on Hiroko Ayada and a 4-shot lead on 3 others. Lurking 5 back are Mi-Jeong Jeon, the JLPGA's only repeat winner of 2010, and Ji-Hee Lee, who's looking to jump-start her season. Maiko Wakabayashi and Eun-A Lim made great moves to make the cut after disatrous starts; can they keep their momentum going and put early pressure on the leaders?
T1/-10 Chieko Amanuma (68-66), Hyun-Ju Shin (67-67)
3rd/-8 Hiroko Ayada (67-69)
T4/-6 Mayumi Shimomura (72-66), Yukari Baba (70-68), Na-Ri Lee (70-68)
T7/-5 Mi-Jeong Jeon (72-67), Saiki Fujita (70-69), Ji-Woo Lee (70-69), Ji-Hee Lee (69-70), Akane Iijima (68-71)
T12/-3 Yuri Fudoh (71-70), Mayu Hattori (71-70), Ah-Reum Hwang (67-74)
T17/-2 Sun-Ju Ahn (73-69), Rui Kitada (73-69), Na-Ri Kim (68-74)
T21/-1 Maiko Wakabayashi (76-67), Miho Koga (72-71), Akiko Fukushima (71-72)
T28/E Ayako Uehara (70-74)
T32/+1 Eun-A Lim (77-68), Yun-Jye Wei (75-70), Jae-Hee Bae (75-70), Li-Ying Ye (73-72)
T43/+2 Ritsuko Ryu (74-72), Hiromi Mogi (73-73)
T50/+3 Asako Fujimoto (74-73), Yuki Ichinose (73-74), Esther Lee (73-74)
MC: Miki Saiki (74-74), Erina Hara (74-74), Rikako Morita (74-74), Nikki Campbell (74-75), So-Hee Kim (75-76)
WD: Mie Nakata (73-WD)
Wondering if we're going to see a move from Ahn tomorrow. She's struggled after a fast start to the season. Maybe she's ready for a new one.
[Update 1 (10:48 am): Forgot to mention that Jeon started with 6 straight birdies, made another couple in a row on the back, and had a bogey-free round going until the 388-yard par-4 17th, which she tripled! Ouch!!]