Shanshan Feng birdied 4 of her 1st 5 holes and added 3 more birdies on the back on the way to a 66 that put her 1 shot ahead of first-round leader Jae-Hee Bae at JLPGA Q-School's Final Qualifying Tournament today. Bae's 35-hole bogey-free run ended with her 1st of the week on the 18th hole, but she stayed 1 shot ahead of the LPGA's Hee Young Park, who fired her 2nd-straight 4-birdie 69.
Some late collapses dropped former leaders back in the pack. A birdieless 39 on the back dropped 3rd-stage medalist Kaori Ohe from -5 to -2. KLPGA star Bo-Mee Lee fell from -3 to -1 with a birdieless 38 of her own. LPGAer Meena Lee and JLPGA veteran Kuniko Maeda also fell from -3 to -1 with a pair of bogeys in their last 4 and 3 holes, respectively. But nobody fell as far or as fast as 2nd- and 3rd-stage medalist Kumiko Kaneda, who followed up yesterday's 69 with 3 bogeys, a double bogey, and a disastrous triple bogey on the par-5 17th to shoot a 79 that dropped her all the way back to T63 with LPGAer Soo-Yun Kang (who stumbled in with a birdieless 39 on the back, herself). Meanwhile, the LPGA's Lindsey Wright birdied 2 of her last 3 holes on the back to start her day with a bogey-free 34, but stumbled to a 37 on the front to fall back to +1, while Teresa Lu sprinkled a pair of doubles into an otherwise solid round to drop back to E.
Some players made late charges, however. Ji-Na Lim bounced back from a double on the long par-4 8th with 3 birdies in a row to start the back and ended up salvaging a 70 thanks to a bogey-free 32 coming home. He Yong Choi birdied 2 of her last 4 holes to get to -2 for the tournament thus far. And Shiho Oyama fired a bogey-free 34 on the back to reach -1 overall.
Here's how the leaders and notables stand heading into tomorrow's penultimate round:
1st/-8 Shanshan Feng (70-66)
2nd/-7 Jae-Hee Bae (67-70)
3rd/-6 Hee Young Park (69-69)
4th/-5 Aiko Ueno (71-68)
T5/-4 Ji-Na Lim (70-70), Yui Mukaiyama (70-70), Yumi Hirose (69-71)
T8/-3 Shiho Oyama (71-70), Miki Uehara (71-70), Satsuki Ushiro (71-70), Cai Ying [Pei-Wing Tsai?] (71-70)
T12/-2 He Yong Choi (73-69), Natsu Nagai (69-73), Kaori Ohe (68-74)
T15/-1 Meena Lee (72-71), Orie Fujino (72-71), Kuniko Maeda (70-73), Bo-Mee Lee (69-74)
T22/E Erika Kikuchi (71-73), Teresa Lu (70-74), Mayumi Shimomura (70-74), Ya-Huei Lu (69-75)
T30/+1 Lindsey Wright (74-71), Megumi Kido (72-73)
T37/+2 Mika Takushima (76-70), So-Hee Kim (74-72), Miki Sakai (74-72), Yumiko Yoshida (73-73), Onnarin Sattayabanphot (72-74)
T50/+3 Maria Iida (74-73), Yeo-Jin Kang (73-74), Erina Hara (73-74), Mihoko Iseri (71-76), Maiko Suzuki (70-77), Erina Hayashi (70-77)
T63/+4 Soo-Yun Kang (73-75), Kumiko Kaneda (69-79)
T70/+5 Julie Lu (75-74)
T78/+6 Tao-Li Yang (77-73)
T80/+7 Ae-Na Jeon (76-75), Saori Ikushima (73-78)
T83/+8 Sakurako Mori (75-77)
T90/+9 Yuki Sakurai (77-76)
T98/+11 Kaori Higo (76-79)
It'll be interesting to see how Bae holds up tomorrow playing with LPGAers Feng and Park in the final group off the front. Without a cut this week, everyone in the bottom 50 still has plenty of time to make a run for their 2011 JLPGA cards. Let's see who takes advantage of the opportunity tomorrow.