Apologies for the late report on the 1st round of the NEC Karuizawa 72, the 1st tournament of the 2nd half of the JLPGA season. I was doing a little rearranging of the house before The Full Metal Archivist, onechan, and imoto return from Japan next week and had to disconnect all our electronics for awhile to make it happen. It was a remarkable feat of discipline and self-control, as I was on cloud 9 all day when I saw this morning before I disconnected everything that Ai Miyazato matched Nikki Campbell's opening 65. Despite my worries about her pairing with Erina Hara (who fought back for a 73 after going +2 in her 1st 7 holes), Miyazato was on fire today. She played a bogey-free round and was the only player in the field to birdie all 4 par 5s. w00t! She needed every single birdie, however, as 2 of the top Koreans on the JLPGA, Mi-Jeong Jeon and Ji-Hee Lee, fired bogey-free 67s, and the tour's 2nd-leading money winner Akiko Fukushima had a bogey-free 68 of her own. Yuko Mitsuka returned to JLPGA action with a 5-birdie 68, as well.
Clearly the leaderboard is packed! Here are the top 10's and notables' 1st-round results:
1st/-7 Ai Miyazato, Nikki Campbell (65)
T3/-5 Mi-Jeong Jeon, Ji-Hee Lee (67)
T5/-4 Akiko Fukushima, Yuko Mitsuka, Ya-Heui Lu (68)
T8/-3 Sakura Yokomine, Miki Saiki, So-Hee Kim (69)
T11/-2 Yuri Fudoh, Chie Arimura, Yukari Baba, Hiromi Mogi, Ritsuko Ryu (70)
T19/-1 Miho Koga, Saiki Fujita, Mie Nakata, Ji-Woo Lee, Eun-A Lim, Esther Lee, Jae-Hee Bae (71)
T35/E Chieko Amanuma, Asako Fujimoto (72)
T43/+1 Momoko Ueda, Young Kim, Rui Kitada, Ayako Uehara, Mayu Hattori, Erina Hara, Na-Ri Lee (73)
T58/+2 Akane Iijima, Kaori Aoyama, Rikako Morita, Maiko Wakabayashi (74)
T74/+3 Shinobu Moromizato, Hyun-Ju Shin, Li-Ying Ye (75)
T84/+4 Na-Ri Kim, Yuki Ichinose, Yuki Sakurai (76)
Campbell opened with a 31 but couldn't sustain the pace on the back 9. Fudoh was +2 as she stood on the 5th tee, but went birdie-eagle-birdie as she made the turn to get back on track. Song eagled the par-5 13th to jump back to E, then birdied 2 of her last 3 holes to get under par on the day. 20-year-old Megumi Kido eagled the 405-yard par-4 14th to get back to even par; Saiki had been cruising to that point, but doubled that same hole. Golf!
There's more of it going on right now. Jeon has caught Miyazato and Campbell at -7 in the early going. More later!
[Update 1 (10:24 pm): Last week I was wondering where Seon Hwa Lee was. Well, she's playing this week on the KLPGA!]