Sunday, November 21, 2010

Daio Paper ElleAir Ladies Sunday: Na-Ri Kim Takes 1st JLPGA Title with 66

Na-Ri Kim was 3 shots behind Yukari Baba and Tamie Durdin at the start of the day in the Daio Paper ElleAir Ladies, but thanks to 4 birdies on her part and slow starts by the leaders had caught them by the end of the front 9. Even though playing partner Mi-Jeong Jeon matched her 33 to make it a foursome at -10, the former LPGAer was unfazed. She reeled off birdies on the 370-yard par 4 10th and 533-yard par-5 11th to take a 1-shot lead on Durdin and a 2-shot lead on the rest, then bounced back from a bogey on the 155-yard par-3 12th with birdies on the 410-yard par-4 14th and the 479-yard par-5 17th. Even though Jeon, too, birdied those same holes coming in, Kim ended up outpacing her by 2 shots, -13 to -11. And when Durdin bogeyed the 15th and 16th as this was happening in the group behind them, it all came down to her playing partner Baba, who hadn't made a birdie since the 8th hole. She gave it a great run, though, finishing birdie-birdie to come within 1 shot of forcing a playoff, but in the end the only player in the field to break 70 all 3 rounds had her 1st career JLPGA victory.

Here's how the leaders and notables ended up in the final regular-season event on the JLPGA schedule:

1st/-13 Na-Ri Kim (69-68-66)
2nd/-12 Yukari Baba (67-67-70)
3rd/-11 Mi-Jeong Jeon (71-65-69)
T4/-10 Ayako Uehara (68-67-71), Tamie Durdin (68-66-72)
6th/-9 Mayu Hattori (72-67-68)
T7/-7 Hiromi Takesue (72-69-68), Sakura Yokomine (70-70-69), Rui Kitada (67-71-71)
T10/-6 Midori Yoneyama (71-72-67), Chie Arimura (71-68-71), Yumiko Yoshida (70-69-71)

T13/-5 Shiho Oyama (72-71-68), Asako Fujimoto (73-69-69), Sun-Ju Ahn (70-71-70), Akane Iijima (72-68-71), Shinobu Moromizato (68-71-72), Yui Kawahara (66-73-72), Ji-Hee Lee (71-67-73)
T20/-4 Jae-Hee Bae (70-73-69), Maiko Wakabayashi (74-68-70), Yun-Jye Wei (73-68-71), Miki Saiki (72-68-72)
T25/-3 Yuki Ichinose (73-70-70), Onnarin Sattayabanphot (74-68-71), Ah-Reum Hwang (70-69-74)
T28/-2 Nikki Campbell (76-68-70), Beatriz Recari (72-72-70), Ritsuko Ryu (72-72-70), Chieko Amanuma (75-68-71), Na-Ri Lee (70-72-72), Rikako Morita (73-68-73), Akiko Fukushima (67-73-74)
T37/-1 Hiromi Mogi (70-74-71), Saiki Fujita (73-70-72), Kaori Aoyama (70-72-73)
T43/E Hyun-Ju Shin (71-71-74), Erina Hara (71-71-74), Teresa Lu (70-72-74), Bo-Bae Song (70-69-77)
T48/+1 Young Kim (69-73-75)

While Kim was putting on a superlative charge, money-list leader Sun-Ju Ahn was sprinkling bogeys in with birdies to post a respectable 70. But her chief rival Sakura Yokomine was putting on a show of her own, making 5 birdies in her 1st 12 holes to get to -9. However, she couldn't buy a birdie the rest of the way and played her last 6 holes in +2. And as a result, she failed to pull within 25 million yen of Ahn. It's looking to me like even if Yokomine wins the season-ending major, the Ricoh Cup, for the 2nd year in a row, Sun-Ju Ahn has clinched the 2010 JLPGA money-list title.

1. Sun-Ju Ahn ¥132.82M
2. Sakura Yokomine ¥99.66M
3. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥91.24M
4. Yukari Baba ¥89.92M
5. Chie Arimura ¥74.60M
6. Miki Saiki ¥63.01M
7. Saiki Fujita ¥62.33M
8. Yuri Fudoh ¥61.75M
9. Akane Iijima ¥60.23M
10. Na-Ri Kim ¥58.29M
11. Rui Kitada ¥58.26M
12. Inbee Park ¥57.04M
13. Nikki Campbell ¥54.56M
14. Ji-Hee Lee ¥52.22M
15. Young Kim ¥49.38M
16. Mayu Hattori ¥48.11M
17. Ji-Yai Shin ¥48.68M
18. Ayako Uehara ¥47.16M
19. Mie Nakata ¥45.58M
20. Shinobu Moromizato ¥42.91M
21. Eun-A Lim ¥41.57M
22. Hiromi Takesue ¥37.79M
23. Hyun-Ju Shin ¥36.30M
24. Na-Ri Lee ¥36.06M
25. Miho Koga ¥34.53M
26. Hiromi Mogi ¥34.17M
27. Asako Fujimoto ¥33.25M
28. Rikako Morita ¥32.16M
29. Bo-Bae Song ¥31.16M
30. Ji-Woo Lee ¥30.60M
31. Akiko Fukushima ¥30.38M
32. Maiko Wakabayashi ¥28.00M
33. Ah-Reum Hwang ¥27.96M
34. Kaori Aoyama ¥27.51M
35. Tamie Durdin ¥27.00M
36. Yun-Jye Wei ¥24.42M
37. Ritsuko Ryu ¥22.21M
38. Junko Omote ¥22.17M
39. Momoko Ueda ¥21.77M
40. Nobuko Kizawa ¥21.18M
41. Chieko Amanuma ¥21.07M
42. Yui Kawahara ¥20.91M
43. Yoshimi Koda ¥20.10M
44. Yuki Ichinose ¥19.10M
45. Esther Lee ¥18.64M
46. Midori Yoneyama ¥18.47M
47. Li-Ying Ye ¥17.59M
48. Ai Miyazato ¥16.91M
49. Hiroko Ayada ¥16.77M
50. Yuko Mitsuka ¥15.65M

Among those who will need to play in the 3rd stage of JLPGA Q-School, which begins in a couple of days, are #55 Jae-Hee Bae, #56 Yuko Saitoh, #57 Shiho Oyama, #58 So-Hee Kim, and #59 Teresa Lu. It remains to be seen whether #80 Seon Hwa Lee will try to maintain her dual membership next season. As for fellow dual member Tamie Durdin, who found her game in the JLPGA's home stretch, she has 1 more LPGA event she could play in if she wants to get back inside the top 100 on their money list and keep a priority status worth anything there in 2011.

We'll find out soon what Lee's and Durdin's plans are, but we already know that neither Ji-Yai Shin nor Ai Miyazato (or, for that matter, Morgan Pressel or 2-time winner Miho Koga) will accept their invitations to the Ricoh Cup. In fact, the only dual member to prioritize the JLPGA over the LPGA will end up being Inbee Park, who dropped out of the top 10 of the money list with her missed cut this week. She's now the 3rd-ranked rookie--and 4th-ranked Korean--on the JLPGA money list. Let's see if she can bounce back next week!

[Update 1 (12:43 pm): More great photos and another good overview from bangkokbobby!]

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