Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sakura Yokomine U.S. Women's Open Final Round Highlights

Yuri Fudoh may have just passed Sakura Yokomine on the 2010 JLPGA money list with her win last week at the Meiji Chocolate Cup, but the Japanese media was super-excited about Yokomine's contending at the U.S. Women's Open. Although she had a tough start to her 3rd round and couldn't get a lot of putts to drop in the final round, she still finished T10. Here are highlights from her Sunday at Oakmont:

I couldn't catch everything that was said in the post-round interview, but I did note how Yokomine paid extra attention to Ayako Okamoto's questions. From what I could understand of her answers, Yokomine was impressed with LPGAers' ability to hit recovery shots and planned to work on her short game heading into the Women's British Open at the end of the month.

Unfortunately, I don't think we'll be seeing Yokomine competing on the LPGA much except in majors and marquee events like the Evian Masters and HSBC Women's Champions. Looks like she's committed to following the Chako Higuchi/Yuri Fudoh career path rather than the Ayako Okamoto/Ai Miyazato one. That's too bad, as she definitely has the game to contend regularly on the LPGA. She's one of the longer hitters on the JLPGA and this year is averaging 3.58 birdies per round with a scoring average of 70.87, which is pretty typical for her from the 2008 season on. She definitely deserves her place at #15 in the current Rolex Rankings. Looking forward to seeing more of her on the LPGA's European swing!


courtgolf said...

Final round highlights ? There weren't many, sad to say. Unfortunately, her caddy seemed to know where her shos were going to finish before she did that day. He beat the ball to where it would finish several times.

Her flexibility was pretty impressive...but those knee high socks have GOT to go. :-)

Mike said...

I assume Sakura is following this career path because of pressure from the Japanese fans. How is it that Ai manages to play the LPGA without losing popularity while the other Japanese players struggle with it?

Patricia Hannigan said...

Contending on that course... in those conditions is a pretty extraordinary feat and the Japanese media must be delighted. I love her outfit... though I'd see it more for fall than that warm day at Oakmont.

The Constructivist said...

Mike, I think there are a lot of reasons to stay on the JLPGA. The money is great if you're one of the best; the tournaments are well-run and there are many of them, with huge crowds; you don't have to travel as far as you do on the LPGA; you usually play 54-hole instead of 72-hole events; you get to eat great food, go to great places, speak your own language all the time, have huge fan and media support. It's a great life in a great country, so why give it up? When you look at it that way, you see why Ai, Mika, and Momoko are the exceptions.