Saturday, May 31, 2014

Resort Trust Ladies Saturday: Junko Omote Goes 68-68 to Take Lead

Junko Omote turned 40 in February but her game is as sharp as it's ever been.  She was a regular in the top 10 or thereabouts on the JLPGA from 2003-2005, but it's only since 2011 that she's approached that career peak again.  Like 1st-round leader Miki Saiki, her 2014 hasn't been all that great thus far, but she's put it behind her this week with a pair of 68s to take a 1-shot lead at the Resort Trust Ladies over Teresa Lu, Na-Ri Lee, and Ji-Min Lee, and a 3-shot lead on Saiki and Satsuki Oshiro.

Na-Ri Lee had the round of the week thus far, a moving-day 64 that actually included a bogey on the 16th hole.  But lots of golfers moved into contention along with her.  In fact, a good number of other Lees did, too, such as Ji-Hee (bogey-free 67) and Bo-Mee (bogey-free 69), who moved to -4 along with Rikako Morita (72), Mi-Jeong Jeon (71), Yeo-Jin Kang (71), Ayaka Watanabe (70), Ritsuko Ryu (69), Natsuka Hori (69), Onnarin Sattayabanphot (68), and 18-year-old amateur Kotone Hori (68).  Sakura Yokomine moved to -3 with a 4-birdie 69, catching Momoko Ueda (73), Mamiko Higa (70), and Ai Suzuki (70).  All in all, there are 21 golfers within 5 shots of the lead.

Meanwhile, Yuri Fudoh and Sun-Ju Ahn (71s, -2), Misuzu Narita (71, -1), Akiko Fukushima (72, E), and Yumiko Yoshida (72, +1) will need to do something special to have a chance tomorrow.  But at least they have a shot.  Veterans Yuko Mitsuka, Shinobu Moromizato, Young Kim, and Rui Kitada missed the cut, as did young guns Kotono Kozuma, Haruna Taguchi, Erina Yamato, Kumiko Kaneda, and Asako Fujimoto, along with 18-year-old amateur Asuka Kashiwabara.

So let's see if Omote can play the comeback kid, whether someone else will, or whether Bo-Mee Lee can snag her 2nd victory in her last 3 starts.

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