Monday, October 31, 2011

Hisako Higuchi Morinaga Weider Ladies Overview: Chie Arimura Defeats Yukari Baba in Playoff for 3rd Win of 2011

Chie Arimura fired a bogey-free 68 in the final round of the Hisako Higuchi Morinaga Weider Ladies yesterday to force a playoff with Yukari Baba and then won it on the 3rd hole with a 7-foot birdie putt that gave her her 3rd JLPGA victory of 2011 and 10th of her career. 

Playing with Mika Miyazato 2 groups ahead of Baba, Na-Ri Kim, and 2nd-round leader Natsu Nagai, Arimura opened with a 3-birdie 33 that brought her neck-and-neck with the final trio at -6 for the week.  But when she got to -7 with her birdie on the 503-yard par-5 12th and continued to make par after par on the back, the only player in the final group to respond was Baba, who pulled even with her with a birdie on the the 376-yard par-4 10th and briefly passed her with a matching birdie on the 12th.  Baba, however, wasn't immune to the bogey barrage that hit her group--Nagai made 4 on the back and Kim made 3 (her last 2 coming on 17 and 18)--and when she bogeyed the 411-yard par-4 15th, she fell back into a tie with Arimura and stayed there as both players parred out.  Arimura's birdie putt on the 3rd playoff hole ended a streak of 8-straight pars and denied Baba her 2nd win in her last 5 starts.

Miyazato got a front-row seat on Arimura's brilliance, but 2 back-9 bogeys knocked her out of contention.  She wasn't alone among the visitors to and irregulars on the JLPGA in failing to end up near the lead.  Shanshan Feng birdied 3 of her last 7 holes to pass Miyazato by a shot and end up 3 ahead of Na Yeon Choi and Ji-Yai Shin, 5 clear of Harukyo Nomura, and 7 past Inbee Park.  But they can't feel as bad as 1st-round co-leader Mayu Hattori, who ended up missing the cut!

Here's how the rest of the field fared:

1st/-7 Chie Arimura (70-71-68) [won in playoff]
2nd/-7 Yukari Baba (71-68-70)
T3/-4 Kaori Ohe (75-67-70), Rikako Morita (73-69-70), Shanshan Feng (69-72-71)
T6/-3 Akane Iijima (71-74-68), Esther Lee (71-70-72), Mika Miyazato (70-71-72), Ji-Hee Lee (72-68-73), Asako Fujimoto (71-69-73), Na-Ri Kim (68-71-74), Natsu Nagai (72-66-75)

T13/-2 Kaori Aoyama (75-71-68), Akiko Fukushima (72-72-70), Teresa Lu (71-73-70), Ritsuko Ryu (71-73-70), Yumiko Yoshida (72-71-71), Erina Hara (70-70-74)
T19/-1 Na Yeon Choi (76-70-69), Mi-Jeong Jeon (74-71-70), Onnarin Sattayabanphot (73-72-70), Ji-Yai Shin (70-72-73)
T23/E Ayako Uehara (74-73-69), Saiki Fujita (71-75-70), Na-Ri Lee (73-71-72)
T28/+1 Eun-A Lim (76-71-70), Harukyo Nomura (72-71-74)
T30/+2 Miki Saiki (72-75-71), Bo-Bae Song (72-73-73), Megumi Kido (72-73-73)
T34/+3 Hiromi Mogi (75-70-74), Nikki Campbell (75-68-76), Rui Kitada (74-69-76), Inbee Park (72-71-76)
T41/+4 Maiko Wakabayashi (78-69-73), Erina Yamato (72-72-76)
T45/+5 Airi Saitoh (74-73-74), Mika Takushima (71-75-75), Junko Omote (73-71-77)
T49/+6 Miho Koga (74-73-75), Yuri Fudoh(73-74-75)
T51/+7 Yuki Sakurai (74-73-76), Miki Saki (73-74-76)
53rd/+10 Tamie Durdin (72-74-80)

MC: Aiko Ueno (75-73), Ji-Na Lim (75-73), Shinobu Moromizato (74-74), Pei-Ying Tsai (72-76), Erika Kikuchi (75-74), Lala Anai (73-76), Mayu Hattori (68-81), Li-Ying Ye (75-75), Julie Lu (73-77), Yuki Ichinose (76-77), Ah-Reum Hwang (75-78), Mie Nakata (74-79), Ai-Yu Tu (78-82)
WD: Ji-Woo Lee (73-WD), Aoi Nagata (77-WD)

Arimura's win shrinks Sun-Ju Ahn's lead on the JLPGA money list down from about 40 million yen to just over 30 million:

1. Sun-Ju Ahn ¥114.98M
2. Chie Arimura ¥82.20M
3. Sakura Yokomine ¥74.10M
4. Ji-Hee Lee ¥74.01M
5. Yukari Baba ¥65.80M
6. Miki Saiki ¥61.96M
7. Yuri Fudoh ¥55.84M
8. Ritsuko Ryu ¥55.64M
9. Shiho Oyama ¥50.04M
10. Shanshan Feng ¥49.99M
11. Ayako Uehara ¥43.74M
12. Mayu Hattori ¥43.46M
13. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥41.24M
14. Saiki Fujita ¥38.85M
15. Kumiko Kaneda ¥37.84M
16. Hiromi Mogi ¥35.63M
17. Rikako Morita ¥35.01M
18. Rui Kitada ¥34.94M
19. Na-Ri Kim ¥32.52M
20. Bo-Bae Song ¥31.72M
21. Junko Omote ¥30.91M
22. Asako Fujimoto ¥30.87M
23. Yuko Mitsuka ¥29.37M
24. Ji-Woo Lee ¥27.83M
25. Li-Ying Ye ¥25.80M
26. Na-Ri Lee ¥25.03M
27. Akane Iijima ¥24.80M
28. Inbee Park ¥24.77M
29. Hyun-Ju Shin ¥24.09M
30. Ah-Reum Hwang ¥24.07M
31. Akiko Fukushima ¥22.63M
32. Soo-Yun Kang ¥21.67M
33. Kaori Aoyama ¥21.49M
34. Esther Lee ¥21.06M
35. Eun-Bi Jang ¥20.82M
36. Eun-A Lim ¥20.72M
37. Young Kim ¥20.64M
38. Teresa Lu ¥19.40M
39. Bo-Mee Lee ¥17.62M
40. Shinobu Moromizato ¥17.30M
41. Yumiko Yoshida ¥16.85M
42. Nikki Campbell ¥16.24M
43. Tamie Durdin ¥15.98M
44. Momoko Ueda ¥15.53M
45. Megumi Kido ¥15.45M
46. Miho Koga ¥14.87M
47. Nachiyo Ohtani ¥14.59M
48. Maiko Wakabayashi ¥14.22M
49. So-Hee Kim ¥13.81M
50. Mihoko Iseri ¥13.24M

I'm curious to see how Ahn, Ai Miyazato, Sakura Yokomine, Momoko Ueda, Shiho Oyama, Kumiko Kaneda, Hyun-Ju Shin, Soo-Yun Kang, and Young Kim, who either rested last week or played in the KLPGA's last major of 2011, play this week in the Mizuno Classic.  With Ji-Yai Shin now #54 on the money list (2 spots behind Onnarin Sattayabanphot!), Ai Miyazato #69, Harukyo Nomura #73, Hee Young Park #91, and Meena Lee #103, a lot is riding on their performance!

[Update 1 (1:35 am):  Here's bangkokbobby 's overview!]

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