23-year-old Ritsuko Ryu fired a bogey-free 68 today to join Yui Kawahara atop the leaderboard of the Resort Trust Ladies, but they are being chased by an all-star cast who also played some very good golf. Chie Arimura bounced back from a double bogey and bogey to close out her front 9 with 4 birdies on the back to post a 69. Two former money-list title-holders who have been struggling opened with strong rounds: Miho Koga got all 3 of her birdies on the back in a bogey-free round while Shinobu Moromizato made a pair on each side to join her at -3, only 1 shot off the lead. Kumiko Kaneda, who briefly led this year's money-list race, shot a 5-birdie 69, while Sakura Yokomine, who finished 1st in 2009's edition, eagled the 498-yard par-5 11th (the only eagle of the day!) on her way to a 70.
And that's only the biggest names who are closest to the co-leaders. Check out the entire list of leaders and notables:
T1/-4 Ritsuko Ryu, Yui Kawahara (68)
T3/-3 Chie Arimura, Shinobu Moromizato, Miho Koga, Kumiko Kaneda, Mie Nakata, Midori Yoneyama, Megumi Shimokawa (69)
T10/-2 Sakura Yokomine, Rui Kitada, Akane Iijima, Nikki Campbell, Tamie Durdin, Yuko Saitoh, Yuki Ichinose, Pei-Ying Tsai, Erina Yamato (70)
T19/-1 Hiromi Mogi, Teresa Lu, Hyun-Ju Shin, Young Kim, Na-Ri Lee, Ah-Reum Hwang, Mika Takushima (71)
T31/E Ji-Woo Lee, Esther Lee, Miki Sakai, Erika Kikuchi (72)
T45/+1 Miki Saiki, Ji-Hee Lee, Ayako Uehara, Rikako Morita, Asako Fujimoto, Maiko Wakabayashi, Eun-A Lim, Kaori Aoyama, Kaori Ohe, Tao-Li Yang, Miho Mori [a] (73)
T62/+2 Yukari Baba, Yuko Mitsuka, Na-Ri Kim, Li-Ying Ye, So-Hee Kim, Erina Hara, Julie Lu, Jeehae Bae (74)
T76/+3 Akiko Fukushima, Soo-Yun Kang, Eun-Bi Jang, Megumi Takahashi [a] (75)
T88/+4 Mayu Hattori, Onnarin Sattayabanphot, Megumi Kido (76)
T94/+5 Yun-Jye Wei, Miki Uehara, Hiroko Ayada (76)
T102/+6 Lala Anai (78)
61 players are within 5 shots of the lead, so this one is anything but over. Even money-list leader Miki Saiki (5 back) and last week's winner Hiromi Mogi (3 back) just need to go low tomorrow to get right back in the thick of things. With Sun-Ju Ahn, Yuri Fudoh, and Inbee Park sitting this one out, there are huge opportunities for lots of golfers to make up serious ground on them.