The best golfer this millennium on the JLPGA and the player some would argue has been the best on the planet since Lorena Ochoa's retirement are set for a Sunday showdown at the Cyber Agent Ladies in Chiba prefecture. Yup, Yuri Fudoh's bogey-free 66 and Ji-Yai Shin's hot-and-cold back 9 that included a pair of bogeys at its start and a pair of birdies at its finish have left them tied at -6, setting up a potential shootout between the Billion Yen Woman and the Final Round Queen! But with Sakura Yokomine, Ji-Hee Lee, Bo-Mee Lee, Mi-Jeong Jeon and the other 8 golfers within 5 shots of Fudoh and Shin's lead all looking to gate-crash that particular party, anything can happen tomorrow.
Let's take a look at the leaderboard:
T1/-6 Yuri Fudoh (72-66), Ji-Yai Shin (68-70)
T3/-3 Yumiko Yoshida (73-68), Sakura Yokomine (70-71), Saiki Fujita (69-72), Hiromi Mogi (67-74)
T7/-2 Ayako Uehara (73-69), Midori Yoneyama (73-69), Ji-Hee Lee (71-71), Bo-Mee Lee (71-71), Tamie Durdin (70-72), Mie Nakata (70-72), Na-Ri Kim (70-72), Ji Na Lim (68-74)
T15/-1 Ji-Woo Lee (72-71), Akane Iijima (71-72), Mi-Jeong Jeon (70-73), Mayu Hattori (70-73), Mihoko Iseri (66-77)
T20/E Yuko Mitsuka (76-68), So-Hee Kim (74-70), Chie Arimura (73-71), Jae-Hee Bae (73-71), Momoko Ueda (72-72), Lala Anai (70-74)
T28/+1 Asako Fujimoto (74-71), Riko Higashio (74-71), Miki Sakai (73-72), Kaori Ohe (70-75)
T33/+2 Rui Kitada (74-72), Miki Saiki (72-74), Soo-Yun Kang (72-74), Kumiko Kaneda (71-75), Na-Ri Lee (70-76), Yuki Ichinose (70-76)
T42/+3 Shinobu Moromizato (75-72), Ah-Reum Hwang (75-72), He-Yong Choi (72-75), Ritsuko Ryu (69-78), Yukari Baba (67-80)
T49/+4 Yun-Jye Wei (76-72), Hyun-Ju Shin (75-73), Maiko Wakabayashi (75-73), Miho Koga (73-75), Erina Hara (73-75), Julie Lu (73-75)
MC: Pei-Ying Tsai (77-72), Kaori Aoyama (76-73), Akiko Fukushima (75-74), Meena Lee (73-76), Li-Ying Ye (79-71), Nikki Campbell (74-76), Megumi Kido (75-76), Sakurako Mori (74-77), Rui Yokomine (77-75), Teresa Lu (78-75), Rikako Morita (78-76), Yuki Sakurai (77-77), Esther Lee (76-78), Miki Uehara (78-77), Onnarin Sattayabanphot (77-78)
As you can see, Shin was the only one among the 1st-round leaders not to implode on moving day. Even those playing well today often couldn't sustain their charges. Sakura Yokomine, for instance, went out in bogey-free 33 but came home in birdie-less 38 to fall 3 off the pace set by Fudoh and Shin. Tamie Durdin was -6 after 27 holes, thanks to a bogey-free 33, but she finished even worse than Yokomine, making 5 bogeys on her way to a 40. A pair of doubles and a bogey on the back derailed Mi-Jeong Jeon's effort to move to the top of the leaderboard. Mayu Hattori, meanwhile, made like Yokomine and Durdin, going fro bogey-free 33 to birdie-less 39. And Momoko Ueda finished bogey-triple-birdie for a roller-coaster 72 that left her 6 shots out of the lead.
All of which leads me to believe we should see a really exciting finish tomorrow. Will Fudoh and Shin pull away from the field or open the door for someone to make a comeback from 3 or more shots behind them? Stay tuned!