Mi-Jeong Jeon has long been one of the JLPGA's finest and with Ji-Hee Lee the most consistently excellent of all the many Korean golfers who have made Japan their professional home. But with Sun-Ju Ahn atop the JLPGA money list and Inbee Park racking up runner-up finishes like nobody's business this season, the fact that Jeon is 3rd in winnings and is the tour's only 3-time winner has gone relatively unnoticed. Well, after a 67 on moving day at the Sankyo Ladies brought her to -9 and gave her a 4-shot lead on Ahn (70) and Park (71), perhaps Jeon will start getting the recognition she deserves. With only Yuri Fudoh (71) and Yukari Baba (71) within 5 shots of her, the tournament is hers for the taking.
On the other end of the spectrum, Momoko Ueda's 61-event made-cut streak on the JLPGA, dating all the way back to spring 2007, came to a crashing halt today after she blew up to a 76. Double bogeys on the 9th and 18th holes were the main culprits today, but when you make 5 bogeys in a row yesterday and 8 over 36 holes, it's clear that you're struggling. Speaking of which, Tamie Durdin, who chose the JLPGA over the LPGA to make her stand this week and try to keep at least 1 of her cards for next season, also missed the cut, as did Yuko Mitsuka. And Shiho Oyama's comeback from elbow surgery was marred by a triple bogey on the short par-4 6th hole, which Jeon bogeyed and Ahn doubled. Golf can get you down. The point is to bounce back!
Let's see who among the leaders and notables were able to do just that today:
1st/-9 Mi-Jeong Jeon (68-67)
T2/-5 Sun-Ju Ahn (69-70), Inbee Park (68-71)
T4/-4 Yuri Fudoh (69-71), Yukari Baba (69-71)
T6/-3 Asako Fujimoto (72-69), Junko Omote (71-70), Chie Arimura (69-72), Mayu Hattori (69-72)
T10/-2 Hyun-Ju Shin (74-68), Akane Iijima (72-70), Kaori Aoyama (72-70)
T13/-1 Sakura Yokomine (74-69), Shinobu Moromizato (74-69), Ayako Uehara (73-70), Rui Kitada (72-71), Yuki Ichinose (71-72), Ah-Reum Hwang (70-73)
T19/E Eun-A Lim (74-70), Ritsuko Ryu (71-73)
T22/+1 Young Kim (75-70), Na-Ri Kim (75-70), Shiho Oyama (71-74)
T25/+2 Ji-Hee Lee (76-70), So-Hee Kim (74-72), Jee-Hae Bae (72-74)
T29/+3 Hiromi Mogi (76-71), Saiki Fujita (74-73), Miki Saiki (73-74), Mie Nakata (71-76)
T39/+4 Yun-Jye Wei (78-70), Ji-Woo Lee (77-71), Na-Ri Lee (72-76)
MC: Onnarin Sattayabanphot (75-74), Hiromi Takesue (73-76), Yuko Mitsuka (76-74), Tamie Durdin (76-74), Maiko Wakabayashi (75-75), Momoko Ueda (74-76), Esther Lee (73-77), Mai Arai (79-73), Bo-Bae Song (77-76), Erina Hara (76-78), Julie Lu (79-77), Li-Ying Ye (78-78), Rikako Morita (85-72)
WD: Chieko Amanuma (79-WD)
Jeon has a history of either running away with tournaments or coughing up leads down the stretch. Let's see which Mi-Jeong shows up on Sunday as she goes for the 3rd 4-win season of her career tomorrow. Success would be even sweeter after her 1st missed cut of the season last week at the Japan Women's Open. I hope she can do it!