Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fujisankei Ladies Classic Sunday: Miki Saiki Wins Her 2nd in a Row!

Miki Saiki fired a 67 today to hold off Sakura Yokomine and Soo-Yun Kang in the final round of the Fujisankei Ladies Classic.  It's her 2nd win in a row and her 2nd season in which she's won twice--and this one isn't even close to being halfway done.  With 7 career JLPGA victories to her name, she's approaching the level of players who have won money list titles or tried making it on the LPGA.

Saiki sealed this one early with 4 birdies in her 1st 7 holes and another 2 in her 1st 5 holes on the back to reach -15 with 4 holes left to play.  Even when she bogeyed the long par-3 17th, it didn't really make a difference, as Teresa Lu had fallen from -11 to -7 with 4 bogeys between the 9th and 15th holes and Yokomine and Kang proved unable to put the kind of pyrotechnics on that Yuki Ichinose did (9 birdies in her 1st 16 holes and a 64 that skyrocketed her into the top 10).  Basically, this was the JLPGA's 1st undramatic finish of the year!  Lu and Sun-Ju Ahn ended up with even-par final rounds, Shiho Oyama shot a 75, Ji-Hee Lee ended up E for the week, Mi-Jeong Jeon finished T48 at +5.  It's looking like Saiki has picked a great time to be playing great golf.

In fact, her wins have coincided with Rikako Morita's 1st bad tournaments of the season--the former money-list leader missed the cut yesterday for the 1st time this season.  So just like that, we have a new leader of the pack on the JLPGA money list:

1. Miki Saiki ¥38.78M
2. Rikako Morita ¥35.27M
3. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥22.09M
4. Sakura Yokomine ¥20.51M
5. Natsuka Hori ¥19.93M
6. Mamiko Higa ¥19.18M
7. Teresa Lu ¥19.02M
8. Yuki Ichinose ¥18.85M
9. Ritsuko Ryu ¥18.53M
10. Na-Ri Kim ¥15.14M
11. Yukari Baba ¥13.98M
12. Miki Sakai ¥12.25M
13. Erika Kikuchi ¥11.84M
14. Junko Omote ¥11.35M
15. Soo-Yun Kang ¥11.25M
16. Harukyo Nomura ¥10.74M
17. Yumiko Yoshida ¥10.00M
18. Megumi Kido ¥9.60M
19. Na-Ri Lee ¥9.30M
20. Kaori Ohe ¥9.23M
21. Shiho Oyama ¥8.40M
22. Young Kim ¥9.09M
23. Bo-Mee Lee ¥8.88M
24. Onnarin Sattayabanphot ¥8.67M
25. Esther Lee ¥7.23M

Next up for the JLPGA is the Cyber Agent Ladies, where Chie Arimura got the 1st of her 3 wins last season.  She and former winner there Ji-Yai Shin will be teeing it up at Kingsmill on the LPGA next week, so we'll have no defending champion this year.  I suppose that makes Saiki the favorite, but since I haven't even seen a field list yet, I can't confirm that she's even playing next week....

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