Friday, September 10, 2010

Konica Minolta Cup Update: Saiki Fujita Lapping the Field

Saiki Fujita followed up Thursday's bogey-free 67 in the JLPGA's 2nd major, the Konica Minolta Cup, with a near-flawless 68 today that was marred only by her 1st bogey of the tournament on its 36th hole. At -9, she's opened up a 4-shot lead on Sakura Yokomine and Hiromi Mogi and a 5-shot lead on Rui Kitada (whose 67 was the low round of the day) and 1st-round leader and defending champion Shinobu Moromizato (who made 4 bogeys in an 8-hole stretch midway through her round today to shoot a 74 and squander her opening 66).

But even with Moromizato's hiccup, it seems like the leaders are playing a different course than everyone else. Former money-list leaders Momoko Ueda and Miho Koga opened with 76s yesterday, while #2 on the career money list Akiko Fukushima stumbled to a 77 today. All will survive to play the weekend, as will Shiho Oyama, Yuko Mitsuka, Ayako Uehara, and living legend Ok-Hee Ku, who also blew up in a bad way in 1 of their 1st 2 rounds, but when Teresa Lu goes 75-81 and Erina Hara goes 81-81, and when shooting +7 will still get you into the weekend, you know this course is tough. FYI, Fujita missed the cut last year and Kitada finished DFL.

So here's where the leaders and notables stand heading into the weekend:

1st/-9 Saiki Fujita (67-68)
T2/-5 Sakura Yokomine (71-68), Hiromi Mogi (69-70)
T4/-4 Rui Kitada (73-67), Shinobu Moromizato (66-74)
6th/-3 Hiromi Takesue (72-69)
T7/-2 Yuri Fudoh (73-69), Mie Nakata (73-69), Maiko Wakabayashi (72-70), Ah-Reum Hwang (72-70), Ji-Woo Lee (71-71), Mayu Hattori (70-72)

T13/-1 Na-Ri Kim (74-69), Na-Ri Lee (73-70), Yukari Baba (71-72), Nikki Campbell (71-72), Bo-Bae Song (71-72), Chie Arimura (69-74)
T19/E Tamie Durdin (76-68), Young Kim (74-70), Kaori Aoyama (74-70), Sun-Ju Ahn (73-71), Mi-Jeong Jeon (73-71), Eun-A Lim (71-73)
T25/+1 Akane Iijima (74-71), Li-Ying Ye (73-72), Hyun-Ju Shin (72-73)
T28/+2 Yuki Ichinose (72-74)
T34/+3 Miki Saiki (73-74)
T38/+4 Momoko Ueda (76-72), Yun-Jye Wei (72-76), Akiko Fukushima (71-77)
T42/+5 Miho Koga (76-73)
T47/+6 Chieko Amanuma (74-76)
T57/+7 Shiho Oyama (79-72), Ayako Uehara (78-73), Jae-Hee Bae (76-75), Yuko Mitsuka (75-76), Ok-Hee Ku (74-77)

T69/+8 Julie Lu (78-74)
T74/+9 Esther Lee (80-73), Ritsuko Ryu (75-78)
T85/+10 Asako Fujimoto (76-78)
T93/+11 So-Hee Kim (79-76)
T98/+12 Rikako Morita (80-76), Teresa Lu (75-81)
T121/+17 Woo-Soon Ko (81-80)
T124/+18 Erina Hara (81-81)

Everyone more than 5 back of Fujita will need to go low on moving day to have a chance to be in contention, as it's unlikely that all the leaders will lose their games on the same day. If any of them happen to make a move tomorrow, the number of players with a chance to win the JLPGA's 2nd major on Sunday will be a small one.

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