Well, I've hit the ground running as my fall semester has started, but I still have a few minutes to catch up on what's been going on in the world of women's golf now that the magnitude of Lydia Ko's dominating win at the CN Canadian Women's Open has sunk in a little.
Don't Call It a Comeback! Sun-Ju Ahn returned to the winner's circle on the JLPGA for the 1st time in just under a year at the CAT Ladies by going 70-68-66 to beat Ritsuko Ryu by 3 shots and Yumiko Yoshida by 4. The next closest competitors were Sakura Yokomine and Na-Ri Kim at -7. Money list-leader Rikako Morita had another bad week, finishing just outside the top 25, but she's still earned over 90 million yen in a season when nobody else has crossed the 60 million yen mark, so she can afford a little late-summer lull. Ahn, meanwhile, moved up to #15 on the money list and is the defending chanmpion at the next 2 events on the schedule, the Nitori Ladies this week and the Golf 5 Ladies the following week.
Mikan, Gambatte! Mika Miyazato is the defending champion at the Safeway Classic this week in Portland. She's coming off her 3rd-best finish of the season, a T13 at the CWO, but will need to heat up her putter further to get to double digits under par this week, which is likely what it will take to win. This is the last tune-up before the LPGA's 5th major, the Evian Championship, and I'm rooting for Ai Miyazato, who's won in both Portland and Evian, to get her 1st LPGA major in mid-September. Maybe the boys from Tokyo winning the Little League World Series will help inspire Mikan, Ai-sama, Chie Arimura, Momoko Ueda, and Mitsuki Katahira!
The LPGA's Million Dollar Club Doubles. Suzann Pettersen and In-Kyung Kim were the latest LPGAers to cross the $1M mark in season winnings. Wonder who'll be next?
The LPGA's Races Heat Up. Inbee Park may have Player of the Year and the money-list title pretty much sewn up, but there are still some closely contested season-long races on the LPGA. In the race for the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average, Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Suzann Pettersen, and Na Yeon Choi are all hovering on either side of 70 and Paula Creamer and In-Kyung Kim are by no means out of it, either. In the Rookie of the Year race, Caroline Masson pulled within 31 points of leader Moriya Jutanugarn, while Ayako Uehara and Chie Arimura are nearly as close. Wonder when Uehara will return to the LPGA from the JLPGA?
Golf--I Mean, WTF?! 6 days after shooting my worst round of the year, I put together my best round of the year at my home course. The greens were either horrifically torn up or glacially slow and every putt was bouncing and zig zagging, but I managed to make 2 birdies and end up with a 78 despite taking 35 putts. My ball-striking was just on, with 11 greens in regulation and loads of birdie chances. Sure, I bogeyed 5 of the 6 par 4s when I found the fairway off the tee and failed to birdie 2 par 5s on the back in which I was around the green in 2, but you try making putts when the ball spends more time in the air than on the green! My buddy and I were saying we'd love to see a reality show where the top pros have to compete on the worst public courses.... Come to think of it, I've played my best golf in my 4 decades on the course on the slowest greens. Maybe Inbee Park should take a lesson from me! :)
[Update 1 (9:03 am): Just saw at Golf Babes that Ha-Neul Kim won for the 1st time in 2013 and 8th time on the KLPGA, thanks to a final-round 63!]