Saturday, April 26, 2014

Fujisankei Ladies Classic Friday and Saturday: Phoebe Yao and Esther Lee Catch Shiho Oyama

16-year-old amateur Kana Nagai was near the top of the leaderboard after the 1st round of the Fujisankei Ladies Classic, but fell off a cliff today with an 81 that left her well on the wrong side of the cut line, along with the likes of Sakura Yokomine, defending champion Miki Saiki, Mayu Hattori, and Na Zhang.  At the other end of the leaderboard, 21-year-old Phoebe Yao and Studio Alice Ladies winner Esther Lee caught veteran Shiho Oyama at -5 on the strength of a 6-birdie 67 from Yao and a 5-birdie 68 from Lee.  But never fear, fans of teenage winners on professional tours!  19-year-old Hikari Fujita shot a 5-birdie 69 to move within 1 shot of the lead.  And 19-year-old Sayaka Tsuchida matched 68s by Rikako Morita and Na-Ri Lee to move to -2.

Others with a good opportunity to win tomorrow on the JLPGA include 25-year-old Step-Up Tour graduate Eriko Sonoda (-4), Soo Yun Kang (-3), Yun-Jye Wei (-3), Kumiko Kaneda (-3), Miki Sakai (-3), Shinobu Moromizato (-2), Asako Fujimoto (-2), and Teresa Lu (-1).  Even Yumiko Yoshida, who fell to E for the week after making an eagle and 2 triples today, and Ritsuko Ryu, who fought her way back to E with a 6-birdie 68 today, are not out of this tournament by any means.

It'll be interesting to see if we have a 1st-time winner on the podium tomorrow, whether Esther Lee will make a statement, or whether Shiho Oyama will notch victory #14!

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