Saturday, August 30, 2014

Nitori Ladies Set-Up: Ji-Yai Shin Takes 2-Shot Lead into Final Round

Even as Inbee Park, Na Yeon Choi, and In-Kyung Kim are getting their grooves back on the LPGA, their contemporary Ji-Yai Shin has rejoined her former KLPGA rival Sun-Ju Ahn on the JLPGA and seems to have found something this summer.  Despite a WD last week, she has 2 wins and 4 top 10s in her last 5 starts on tour and heading into tomorrow's final round she finds herself leading the Nitori Ladies by 2 shots over Saiki Fujita and Yukari Nishiyama and 4 shots over money-list leader Bo-Mee Lee, Ritsuko Ryu, Lala Anai, and 15-year-old amateur Hina Arakaki.  A 6-birdie 67 on Friday gave Shin the lead on Fujita, which she maintained today with a 3-birdie 71, plus a walkoff double by Nishiyama.

With only 12 golfers at par or better, with the cut line falling all the way down the leaderboard to +7 (which saved last year's money-list title-holder Rikako Morita), and with slow starts from last week's winner Momoko Ueda (+4), last year's Rookie of the Year Mamiko Higa (+4), and International Crown magician Sakura Yokomine (+3), the impressiveness of Shin's performance thus far this week comes into even sharper focus.  A victory tomorrow would make it 8 JLPGA wins for Shin and vault her into the elite in the women's game in 2014, as nobody has taken more than 3 worldwide titles yet this season.  Let's see if she can do it!

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