Megumi Kido's 35-hole bogey-free streak ended on the final hole of the inaugural Samantha Thavasa Ladies today, but she still shot her 2nd-straight 66 to take a 4-shot lead on JLPGA money-list leader Mi-Jeong Jeon (66) and a 5-shot lead on a large group that included former world #1 Ji-Yai Shin (68), the legendary Yuri Fudoh (66), and #4 Ritsuko Ryu (69). Na Yeon Choi moved backward today with a 1-over-par 73 that left her 9 shots out of the lead, tied with Sakura Yokomine (73) and Harukyo Nomura (69), among others.
Kido, who had top 10s in 2 of her last 3 starts but hasn't won off the Step-Up Tour, could transform her career tomorrow. Jeon, who already has a huge lead on #2 Sun-Ju Ahn (who had to pull out this week with a thumb injury), is looking to extend it. And Shin, in her 1st event back from hand surgery, is looking to regain her title of "Final Round Queen." Should be an interesting Sunday on the JLPGA!