Saturday, October 2, 2010

Japan Women's Open Saturday: Mika Miyazato Gets to -12, Drops to -8, Ends with 4-Shot Lead

Mika Miyazato had a chance to turn the Japan Women's Open into her own personal walk in the park, but bogeyed 4 of her last 5 holes today to fall from -12 to -8 and keep fellow Okinawans Ayako Uehara and Ai Miyazato within reach of the door she just opened. Mikan's lead would be even smaller, however, if her namesake, playing 2 groups ahead of her, hadn't bogeyed 3 of her last 4 holes. But the Miyazatos weren't the only ones having trouble today. In fact, except for a smattering of 70s and 71s, most of the field was stuck in reverse on moving day. Na Yeon Choi opened with a birdie-free 40 on the front; Hee Young Park finished double bogey-bogey; Eun-Hee Ji bogeyed 3 of her last 4 holes; amateur Mamiko Higa followed up a 33 on the front with a 40 on the back; Yuri Fudoh, Momoko Ueda, and Nikki Campbell failed to break 80.

Check out the scores from the leaders and notables to see more of what I'm talking about:

1st/-8 Mika Miyazato (68-67-73)
2nd/-4 Ayako Uehara (68-73-71)
3rd/-3 Miki Saiki (71-71-71)
4th/-2 Ai Miyazato (72-70-72)
T5/-1 Hyun-Ju Shin (77-68-70), Sakura Yokomine (73-71-71), Hee Young Park (76-66-73), Na Yeon Choi (72-69-74), Chie Arimura (70-70-75)
T10/E Sun-Ju Ahn (73-72-71), Natsuka Hori [a] (73-70-73)

12th/+1 Eun-Hee Ji (74-70-73)
14th/+3 Eun-A Lim (75-74-70)
T15/+4 Rikako Morita (76-72-72), Mamiko Higa [a] (73-74-73), Ah-Reum Hwang (72-71-77)
T19/+5 Yukari Baba (73-75-73), Shinobu Moromizato (73-74-74), Ya Ni Tseng (71-76-74), Kaori Aoyama (77-69-75), Asako Fujimoto (75-71-75), Yuri Fudoh (70-74-77)
T25/+6 Na-Ri Kim (74-77-71), Danielle Kang [a] (75-75-72), Song-Hee Kim (72-77-73)
T29/+7 Hiromi Takesue (73-77-73), Ritsuko Ryu (78-71-74)
T31/+8 Serena Aoki [a] (76-75-73), Na-Ri Lee (71-79-74), Asuka Kashiwabara [a] (73-76-75), Momoko Ueda (74-70-80), Ji-Hee Lee (69-75-80)
T38/+9 Yuki Ichinose (75-78-72), Mayu Hattori (77-74-74), Ji-Woo Lee (77-73-75), Nikki Campbell (72-72-81)
T42/+10 Mie Nakata (73-78-75), Young Kim (75-74-77), Harukyo Nomura [a] (75-73-78)
T47/+12 Rui Kitada (79-74-75), Akane Iijima (74-77-77), Saiki Fujita (75-74-79)
T50/+13 Mami Fukuda [a] (75-77-77)
T56/+14 Onnarin Sattayabanphot (77-76-79)
T62/+16 Miho Mori [a] (77-75-80)

Given Mikan's Sunday struggles when in contention in her brief professional career, particularly in last year's final round of the JWO, not to mention her late collapse today, the 10 players at par or better behind her are still very much in the running. Will Na Yeon Choi, Hee Young Park, Hyun-Ju Shin, or Sun-Ju Ahn get the 3rd consecutive win for their native South Korea at the JWO tomorrow? Will it turn out to be an all-Okinawa showdown? Will one of the Kyushu natives (Kagoshima's Sakura Yokomine or Kumamoto's Chie Arimura) rise to the top? Or will Hiroshima's own Miki Saiki or Tokushima's amateur sensation Natsuka Hori claim the JWO title? Stay tuned!

[Update 1 (10/3/10, 9:27 am): Here are the 3rd-round highlights via youtube:

All Miyazato all the time, apparently!]

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