Sunday, August 17, 2014

NEC Karuizawa 72 Ladies Sunday: Bo-Mee Lee Defeats Shiho Oyama and Erika Kikuchi in Playoff for 8th JLPGA Victory and 3rd of 2014

Bo-Mee Lee collected her 8th career JLPGA victory today at the NEC Karuizawa 72 Ladies, but it didn't come easily.  Sun-Ju Ahn, the only player ahead of her of the money list, made an early charge from well back in the pack.  Her 6 birdies in her last 14 holes made her the leader in the clubhouse at -11.  Lee, meanwhile, started her final round with a bogey and 8-straight pars to fall back to -10.  That opened the door for Erika Kikuchi, playing several groups ahead of her, to make up all 4 strokes she started the day behind Lee--and more--with her opening 32 to move to -11.  And Kikuchi was just trying to keep pace with Saiki Fujita, whose bogey-free 32 on the front from the group ahead of her got her to -11 1 hole earlier than her.  Yumiko Yoshida didn't light it up on the front, but she also made the turn at -10.  And out of the blue, 20-year-old rookie Nana Yamashiro, whose best previous finish was a T5 at the Yonex Ladies, kept within striking distance of playing partner Kikuchi and her co-leaders with a 2-birdie 35 that brought her to -9.  But Lee's biggest threat seemed to be coming from her playing partner Shiho Oyama, who opened with a bogey-free 33 of her own to take the lead at -12.

So the tournament came down to the final 9 with a host of players fighting for the win.  Yoshida was the 1st to blink with a bogey on the 378-yard par-4 10th, which Lee then proceeded to birdie.  Fujita was the next to drop off the map with 2 bogeys in her 1st 5 holes.  But then Kikuchi made a move with birdies on the par-5 13th and par-4 14th to move to -13.  Yamashiro birdied the 13th but couldn't keep pace with her playing partner, falling 3 shots behind with 4 holes to play.  Yoshida joined Yamashiro at -10 with a birdie of her own on the 13th, but neither player could male a big move the rest of the way.  And when Lee and Oyama got to 13, their birdies there moved them to -12 and -13, respectively.  They weren't quite lighting up the back like Erina Hara (5 birdies in a 6-hole stretch to fly to -10) or Da Ye Na (birdie-eagle-par-birdie-par finish to end her week at -10), but when Lee birdied the 364-yard par-4 15th, we had 3 players at -13.  Kikuchi, having closed out her round with 4-straight pars, displaced Ahn as leader in the clubhouse, and when Oyama finished with 5-straight pars and Lee with 3, while Yamashiro could manage only 1 more birdie to join Ahn at -11, we had ourselves a 3-way playoff to determine the 2014 champion.  It was over almost before it started, as Kikuchi was in trouble off the tee and Oyama couldn't get her approach close, but Lee stuck her approach to about 14 feet and sank the birdie putt for the win.

That win was not only Lee's 3rd of 2014, but it also leapfrogged her past Ahn on the JLPGA money list!

1. Bo-Mee Lee ¥95.13M
2. Sun-Ju Ahn ¥89.58M
3. Misuzu Narita ¥69.48M
4. Miki Sakai ¥59.54M
5. Ji-Yai Shin ¥55.53M
6. Erina Hara ¥46.36M
7. Teresa Lu ¥42.97M
8. Ayaka Watanabe ¥39.42M
9. Onnarin Sattayabanphot ¥37.84M
10. Esther Lee ¥35.68M
11. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥33.92M
12. Lala Anai ¥32.58M
13. Ritsuko Ryu ¥31.85M
14. Yuki Ichinose ¥31.61M
15. Rikako Morita ¥31.29M
16. Shiho Oyama ¥28.50M
17. Ji-Hee Lee ¥27.65M
18. Phoebe Yao ¥27.36M
19. Na-Ri Lee ¥26.70M
20. Mayu Hattori ¥25.27M
21. Hikari Fujita ¥24.90M
22. Saiki Fujita ¥24.60M
23. Kaori Ohe ¥21.45M
24. Sakura Yokomine ¥21.42M
25. Yukari Baba ¥20.74M
26. Yeon-Ju Jung ¥20.52M
27. Shanshan Feng ¥20.04M
28. Megumi Kido ¥19.77M
29. Asako Fujimoto ¥19.63M
30. Mami Fukuda ¥19.38M
31. Junko Omote ¥19.35M
32. Momoko Ueda ¥19.23M
33. Yumiko Yoshida ¥19.02M
34. Mamiko Higa ¥18.59M
35. Erika Kikuchi ¥18.33M
36. Rumi Yoshiba ¥17.82M
37. Soo-Yun Kang ¥17.57M
38. Akane Iijima ¥17.06M
39. Natsuka Hori ¥16.38M
40. Kotono Kozuma ¥15.62M
41. Miki Saiki ¥15.59M
42. Na-Ri Kim ¥15.41M
43. Yuri Fudoh ¥14.29M
44. Megumi Shimokawa ¥13.50M
45. Yukari Nishiyama ¥12.55M

Next up on the JLPGA is the CAT Ladies, which Sun-Ju Ahn won last year.  I don't have time to scan the field list right now, as I have to head out to Pittsford for the final round of the Wegmans LPGA Championship!

No comments: