Chie Arimura birdied her 1st 4 holes on the back 9 of the par-73 Daihakone Country Club and held on for a 7-birdie 67 that brought her to -10 in the CAT Ladies--good enough for a 2-shot lead on Rikako Morita and a 4-shot lead on Ayako Uehara and 1st-round leader Asako Fujimoto. Arimura is riding a 7-event top-10 streak and is looking for her 2nd win in her last 4 starts. Can anyone stop her from collecting her 9th career JLPGA victory? With the rest of the tour's finest--including defending champion Akiko Fukushima--many shots behind Arimura, tomorrow is a golden opportunity for her.
1st/-10 Chie Arimura (69-67)
2nd/-8 Rikako Morita (69-69)
T3/-6 Ayako Uehara (70-70), Asako Fujimoto (66-74)
T5/-5 Na-Ri Lee (72-69), Akane Iijima (70-71), Na-Ri Kim (69-72)
T8/-4 Li-Ying Ye (74-68), Ji-Hee Lee (73-69), Yukari Baba (72-70), Akiko Fukushima (70-72), Lala Anai (70-72), Natsu Nagai (70-72), Kumiko Kaneda (68-74)
T15/-3 Esther Lee (73-70), Julie Lu (72-71), Soo-Yun Kang (70-73), Miki Saiki (69-74)
T20/-2 Ah-Reum Hwang (76-68), Sun-Ju Ahn (73-71), Nikki Campbell (72-72), Tamie Durdin (72-72), Rui Kitada (71-73), Junko Omote (70-74)
T29/-1 Mayu Hattori (75-70), Sakura Yokomine (71-74), Mi-Jeong Jeon (71-74), Eun-Bi Jang (71-74)
T35/E Yuko Mitsuka (76-70), Saiki Fujita (75-71), Young Kim (74-72), Ritsuko Ryu (73-73), Miki Uehara (71-75)
T42/+1 Eun-A Lim (75-72), Onnarin Sattayabanphot (74-73), Mika Takushima (72-75), Teresa Lu (71-76)
T50/+2 Shiho Oyama (77-71), Hyun-Ju Shin (74-74), Kaori Ohe (74-74), Hiromi Mogi (73-75)
MC: So-Hee Kim (76-73), Shinobu Moromizato (75-74), Ji-Woo Lee (75-74), Miki Sakai (75-74), Erika Kikuchi (74-75), Miho Koga (73-76), Kaori Aoyama (74-76), Maiko Wakabayashi (79-72), Yumiko Yoshida (77-74), Rui Yokomine (77-74), Jae-Hee Bae (76-75), Yuki Ichinose (79-73), Erina Hara (77-77), Erina Yamato (78-77), Mie Nakata (79-77), Yun-Jye Wei (79-77), Pei-Ying Tsai (84-73), Megumi Kido (80-78), Aiko Ueno (78-82)
Morita's only JLPGA win was a rain-shortened one last season; this year she's only added 1 top 10 to her 5th-place finish in Okinawa at the start of the season. But she has 8 top 20s in her 15 starts in 2011, has broken 70 3 of her last 5 rounds, and is the only player in the field besides Arimura to shoot in the 60s in both rounds this week. She birdied 3 of her last 4 holes and fired a bogey-free 33 on the back to get into this position. It would be quite a story if the 21-year-old could knock off the 23-year-old Arimura!