Sunday, July 6, 2014

Nichi-Iko Ladies Sunday: Yeon-Ju Jung Outduels Sakura Yokomine to Take 1st JLPGA Title

Yeon-Ju Jung fired a bogey-free 65 today in the final round of the Nichi-Iko Ladies and held off Sakura Yokomine by 2 shots for her 1st-ever JLPGA victory.  The 22-year-old withstood 2 runs by the 22-time tour winner, 1st a 4-hole birdie train as Yokomine made the turn and then 2 birdies in Yokomine's last 4 holes.  But even though Yokomine didn't make a single bogey in the entire tournament, Jung put together some fireworks of her own.  She made her 3rd and 4th birdies of the day as Yokomine went on her 1st run, then birdied 3 of her last 7 holes to never surrender her lead.

Meanwhile, their playing partner Maiko Wakabayashi, who was looking for a wire-to-wire win of her own, fell apart just as Yokomine got it into gear.  Wakabayashi bogeyed 9, 11, 13, and 14 and broke her string with a double bogey on 15.  Despite a birdie on 16, she dropped all the way into a tie for 11th at -8 with defending champion Young Kim, Erika Kikuchi (who shot one of the best rounds of the day, a 6-birdie 67), and several others.  Wakabayashi's troubles opened the door to a bunch of golfers who played as well or better than Kikuchi.  19-year-old Hikari Fujita eagled the 1st hole, shot a 30 on the front, and ended up in solo 3rd at -12 thanks to a fine 65.  Bo-Mee Lee and Megumi Kido shot 67s to catch Natsuka Hori (68) and Rumi Yoshiba (69) at -11.  Airi Saitoh continued her bounce-back from her opening 75 with a bogey-free 66 that got her to -10.  And Megumi Shimokawa shot a 67 despite triple bogeying the long par-4 5th.

So Jung follows last week's 1st-time winner Miki Sakai in taking down a giant of the JLPGA.  Here's what the tour's money list looks like as a result:

1. Sun-Ju Ahn ¥81.37M
2. Bo-Mee Lee ¥67.68M
3. Miki Sakai ¥55.38M
4. Misuzu Narita ¥55.31M
5. Erina Hara ¥38.54M
6. Onnarin Sattayabanphot ¥37.84M
7. Ayaka Watanabe ¥36.74M
8. Ji-Yai Shin ¥35.73M
9. Teresa Lu ¥34.45M
10. Esther Lee ¥32.35M
11. Yuki Ichinose ¥31.61M
12. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥30.91M
13. Rikako Morita ¥29.24M

14. Phoebe Yao ¥26.57M
15. Ji-Hee Lee ¥26.56M
16. Ritsuko Ryu ¥26.23M
17. Lala Anai ¥26.02M
18. Mayu Hattori ¥22.81M
19. Hikari Fujita ¥22.31M
20. Shiho Oyama ¥21.55M
21. Sakura Yokomine ¥20.58M
22. Na-Ri Lee ¥20.11M
23. Shanshan Feng ¥20.04M
24. Yeon-Ju Jung ¥19.79M
25. Mami Fukuda ¥18.10M
26. Mamiko Higa ¥17.80M
27. Saiki Fujita ¥17.63M
28. Kaori Ohe ¥17.59M
29. Junko Omote ¥17.52M
30. Yukari Baba ¥17.10M
31. Momoko Ueda ¥16.97M
32. Rumi Yoshiba ¥16.90M
33. Akane Iijima ¥16.52M
34. Soo-Yun Kang ¥15.63M
35. Yumiko Yoshida ¥13.93M
36. Asako Fujimoto ¥13.83M
37. Na-Ri Kim ¥13.72M
38. Miki Saiki ¥13.46M
39. Megumi Kido ¥12.83M
40. Natsuka Hori ¥12.54M

The JLPGA takes a week off for the Women's British Open and returns the following week, where Yumiko Yoshida will defend her title at the Samantha Thavasa Ladies.  Good luck to the enrire Japanese contingent at Royal Birkdale!

No comments: