Thursday, September 29, 2011

Miho Koga to Retire from JLPGA

Miho Koga, a 12-time winner and 2008 money-list title holder on the JLPGA, announced recently that this will be her last season on tour.  Although she only turned 29 at the end of July, the Kumamoto native has been suffering from a nagging wrist injury since 2009 and has been slipping down JLPGA money lists ever since--plus since last fall she's been a victim of Japan's tabloid media for her rumored relationship with baseball star Darvish Yu.  My guess is that the mental strain of dealing with those kind of intrusions into her private life are playing a much bigger role than any physical issues she may have.

We'll see where Koga ends up on the career money list at the end of this, her 11th season on tour, but right now she's #15, with only 3 players in her generation (Sakura Yokomine, Ji-Hee Lee, and Mi-Jeong Jeon) ahead of her.  She missed her best chance for win #13 in the final round of the Meiji Chocolate Cup in early August; despite opening with a 63, she was overtaken by Shanshan Feng.  Otherwise, it's been pretty much the worst year of her career, with 7 missed cuts in 16 starts and a no-show at the Japan Women's Open this week (whether because she decided not to enter or failed to qualify, I don't know).  At least now we know why she was invited to play with Tiger Woods in that early-November charity match....

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