Sunday, April 29, 2012

CyberAgent Ladies Overview: Chie Arimura Is Back, Baby!

Chie Arimura won the CyberAgent Ladies in convincing fashion today, leaving yesterday's co-leader Ji-Woo Lee in the dust with a bogey-free 65 that brought her to -15 over 3 rounds and gave her a 5-shot victory over Sakura Yokomine, who fired a 66 of her own that leapfrogged her past Ji-Yai Shin (69) and kept her ahead of a charging Rikako Morita (65). 

The 24-year-old Arimura's 11th career victory was sweet for many reasons:  it marked her 1st sub-70 rounds of a 2012 season she had to start late because of wrist problems; it showed she could outpace the best of the dual LPGA-JLPGA members in the field, as she beat Shin by 6 shots, Inbee Park by 7, and Momoko Ueda by 16; it was a thorough domination of some of the biggest names on the JLPGA, as she beat Yokokine by 5 shots, Sun-Ju Ahn by 7, Mi-Jeong Jeon, Shinobu Moromizato, and Akane Iijima by 10, and Yuri Fudoh and Miki Saiki by 11; and it brought her into the top 10 of the JLPGA money list, within striking distance of #1 Ritsuko Ryu in only half the starts.

Perhaps even more important, Arimura's big win raises questions about her future plans and whether she'll try to join the LPGA in 2013.  I'm sure she'll say she's focusing on this year right now, but let's see how she does in the majors...starting with the Salonpas Cup next week!

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