Ai Miyazato and Nikki Campbell, your 1st-round co-leaders at the NEC Karuizawa 72, are also your 2nd-round co-leaders after firing matching 70s to get to -9 for the tournament. Although each has made only 1 bogey over her 1st 2 rounds, many players made up ground on them by outbirdieing them. Ji-Hee Lee fought her way into tomorrow's final group with a bogey-free 69 that leaves her 1 back, but the biggest moves were made by defending champion Chie Arimura (bogey-free 67) and Miki Saiki (bogey-free 68) to join Mi-Jeong Jeon 2 back. In all, there are 13 players within 5 shots of the lead.
Here are the top 10 and notables:
1st/-9 Ai Miyazato (65-70), Nikki Campbell (65-70)
3rd/-8 Ji-Hee Lee (67-69)
T4/-7 Chie Arimura (70-67), Miki Saiki (69-68), Mi-Jeong Jeon (67-70)
7th/-6 Akiko Fukushima (68-70)
T8/-5 Yuko Saitoh (72-67), Saiki Fujita (71-68), Yuko Mitsuka (68-71), Ya-Heui Lu (68-71)
T12/-4 Young Kim (73-67)
T14/-3 Asako Fujimoto (72-69), Miho Koga (71-70), Ji-Woo Lee (71-70), Esther Lee (71-70)
T20/-2 Momoko Ueda (73-69), Rui Kitada (73-69), Erina Hara (73-69), Bo-Bae Song (71-71), Eun-A Lim (71-71), Yukari Baba (70-72), Sakura Yokomine (69-73), So-Hee Kim (69-73)
T29/-1 Kaori Aoyama (74-69), Mie Nakata (71-72), Jae-Hee Bae (71-72), Hiromi Mogi (70-73)
T39/E Shinobu Moromizato (75-69), Akane Iijima (74-70), Yuri Fudoh (70-74), Ritsuko Ryu (70-74)
T50/+1 Maiko Wakabayashi (74-71), Li-Ying Ye (75-70), Ayako Uehara (73-72), Na-Ri Lee (73-72)
MC: Yuki Ichinose (76-70), Chieko Amanuma (72-75), Rikako Morita (74-74), Na-Ri Kim (76-73), Hyun-Ju Shin (75-74), Mayu Hattori (73-77), Yuki Sakurai (76-76)
Playing in the final pairing today, Miyazato, Campbell, and Jeon tied each other, which is a little funny, in that Jeon collapsed last October in the final round of Miyazato's last JLPGA win and Campbell made a miracle 50-foot putt in a playoff to deny her a 2nd. Meanwhile, ex-JLPGA exile Yuko Mitsuka got a hole in 1 on the 189-yard 12th, but was +2 in her final 6 holes to fall back off the pace. And the slumping Erina Hara made the cut for only the 6th time all season with a 7-birdie 69. Finally, 20-year-old Megumi Kido had a great round going--5 birdies and no bogeys with 4 holes left to play--but finished bogey-triple-par-par to squander most of them.
I'm going to get up early tomorrow morning for the 4-hour-or-so drive to Cornell University's Robert Trent Jones course (I'm playing in one of the NYSGA's State Days to tune up for Monday's Albany qualifier for the Mid-Am), but promise to do a quick post before I go if Ai-sama wins!