Saturday, April 16, 2011

Nishijin Ladies Classic Saturday: Yuri Fudoh Catches Ji-Woo Lee, Barely Ahead of a Crowd

Yuri Fudoh birdied 3 of her last 6 holes in the 2nd round of the Nishijin Ladies Classic to catch struggling 1st-round leader Ji-Woo Lee at -5 and join her 1 shot ahead of Chie Arimura, Shinobu Moromizato, and Yukari Baba, and 2 shots up on Ji-Yai Shin, Ji-Hee Lee, and Asako Fujimoto. Moromizato shared low round of the day honors with Yeo-Jin Kang, as each replicated Lee's 7-birdie 66 from the 1st round, while the 20-year-old Fujimoto birdied 3 of her last 5 holes to catch the world #2 and one of the most successful golfers in JLPGA history. Still, with a total of 18 players--including Sakura Yokomine, Sun-Ju Ahn, and Yuko Mitsuka--within 5 shots of the lead, I wouldn't be surprised if the eventual winner makes a charge from well back at the start of the final round.

Here's how the leaders and notables stand after 36 holes of golf in Kumamoto:

T1/-5 Yuri Fudoh (70-69), Ji-Woo Lee (66-73)
T3/-4 Shinobu Moromizato (74-66), Chie Arimura (71-69), Yukari Baba (68-72)
T6/-3 Asako Fujimoto (73-68), Ji-Yai Shin (71-70), Ji-Hee Lee (68-73)
T9/-2 Yeo-Jin Kang (76-66), Rui Kitada (72-70), Sun-Ju Ahn (70-72)

T12/E Sakura Yokomine (75-69), Hiromi Mogi (75-69), Maiko Wakabayashi (74-70), Yuko Mitsuka (73-71), Yuki Ichinose (73-71), Jae-Hee Bae (73-71)
T19/+1 Rikako Morita (75-70), Kumiko Kaneda (74-71), Li-Ying Ye (72-72), Pei-Ying Tsai (72-73), Na-Ri Lee (70-75)
T25/+2 Mayu Hattori (75-71), Mi-Jeong Jeon (74-72), Bo-Bae Song (73-73), Inbee Park (71-75), Teresa Lu (71-75)
T32/+3 Na-Ri Kim (76-71), So-Hee Kim (74-73), Kaori Ohe (74-73), Mika Takushima (74-73), Kaori Aoyama (76-71), Mie Nakata (73-74),
T40/+4 Akane Iijima (75-73), Saiki Fujita (75-73)
T47/+5 Hee Young Park (79-70), Shiho Oyama (78-71)

MC: Esther Lee (77-73), Akiko Fukushima (76-74), Hyun-Ju Shin (75-75), Ah-Reum Hwang (75-75), Julie Lu (75-75), Miki Saiki (77-74), Miki Sakai (75-76), Nikki Campbell (74-77), Soo-Yun Kang (74-77), Ritsuko Ryu (73-78), Momoko Ueda (81-71), Ayako Uehara (80-72), Onnarin Sattayabanphot (79-73), Yuki Sakurai (77-75), Tamie Durdin (74-78), Yun-Jye Wei (77-76), Miho Koga (75-78), Young Kim (78-76), Riko Higashio (78-76), Erina Hara (77-77), Eun-A Lim (74-80), Hiromi Takesue (77-78), Miki Uehara (79-79), Ai-Yu Tu (83-76)

I'm curious to see if Arimura, who's played great in her 2 LPGA starts this season, can take the title in her 2nd JLPGA start of the year away from the JLPGA's one and only Billion Yen Woman. Or will Moromizato bounce back from an off-year with her 1st win since her 6-win season in 2009? Perhaps Shin will live up to her Final Round Queen nickname? All I know is that 3 bogeys in her last 4 holes today make it very unlikely that Inbee Park will extend her JLPGA winning streak to 3 events tomorrow, but at least she has a fighting chance. With the quality and quantity of players missing the cut this week, I'm wondering if the JLPGA ought to extend its cut line to the top 60 and ties rather than top 50 in the field each week. 10 more notables would have been among the 68 players going on to the final round under that system.

[Update 1 (5:05 am): Interesting that Bo Mee Lee, He Yong Choi, and Ji Na Lim chose to play on the KLPGA this week. For more on what to expect on that tour this season, check out Happy Fan's awesome preview.]

[Update 2 (10:10 am): As always, head on over to Golf Digest Online for the consistently best coverage of the JLPGA in Japanese. Once I get home from the girls' Japanese school and Japan Day festivities/fundraising, I'll try to pass along some of the best tidbits.]

[Update 3 (10:11 am): I should mention that Inbee Park is not only trying for her 3rd straight win on the JLPGA, but it also looking to defend her title. Las year's final round was amazing. Hope this year's is as dramatic!]

1 comment:

Mike said...

I wouldn't bet against Arimura. I was pretty impressed by her play in those LPGA events.