Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sankyo Ladies Saturday: Holding Patterns

Through the 1st 2/3 of moving day at the Sankyo Ladies Open, very few players were making a move--at least near the top of the leaderboard. By making 3 birdies in her last 6 holes, Akane Iijima has recovered from a bad start and pulled within 3 shots of the 1st-round leader Mi-Jeong Jeon, who's been holding steady at -6. Sakura Yokomine remains 5 shots back, having matched Jeon's pairs of bogeys and birdies. Mayu Hattori made a double bogey early on to also fall 5 behind Jeon, along with Rui Kitada, who just broke a 14-hole bogey-free streak dating back to the 1st round to fall back to -1 on her day.

Due to this lack of movement at the top, even small movements from below have had big consequences. Mika Takushima has leaped all the way to 3rd place at -2 by making 3 birdies in a 10-hole stretch of bogey-free golf to offset a double bogey on the par-4 4th. Ji-Hee Lee has fought back to E overall with a 69 that could have been much better (she was -5 through her 1st 12 holes, +2 over her last 6). Ai Miyazato ballooned to +3 overall with a lackluster front-side 37, but her 9th-hole bogey must have woken her up, as she's -3 on the back as she heads into the par-5 18th. Nikki Campbell's bogey-free 69 moved her all the way up to T13 thus far at +1 overall.

Some players made big moves just by staying still. Momoko Ueda began the tournament horribly, going +6 over her 1st 11 holes of birdie-less golf, but by playing the next 25 in -1, she's caught Shinobu Moromizato (74), Ayako Uehara (75), and Na-Ri Lee (76) at T32. Young guns Yuki Ichinose and Sakurako Mori could move into the top 20 just by shooting 72s. The cut line could fall at +6 or +7, depending on how people play down the stretch. I'll be back when the JLPGA updates its live-scoring pages, which go into a holding pattern of their own while the event is being televised in Japan.

[Update 1 (3:52 am): Over at Seoul bangkokbobby has been posting great pics and updates from the Sankyo. Here's hoping he decides to join the ranks of JLPGA bloggers! (All 1 of us.)]

[Update 2 (4:44 am): A late double bogey by Jeon and birdie by Iijima have tightened up the top 2 and created the possibility that the final round will be neither a runaway nor a 2-player shootout. Mayu Hattori again finished hot (2 birdies in a row to close out today's round) to climb into the top 3. And all of a sudden even par is in contention.

Here are the top 10 and notables' results from round 2:

1st/-5 Mi-Jeong Jeon (66-73)
2nd/-4 Akane Iijima (70-70)
3rd/-2 Mayu Hattori (69-73)
T4/E Ji-Hee Lee (75-69), Ai Miyazato (74-70), Rui Kitada (72-72), Mika Takushima (72-72), Sakura Yokomine (71-73), Chie Arimura (71-73), Michie Ohba (70-74)

T11/+1 Nikki Campbell (76-69), Yun-Jye Wei (74-71), Miho Koga (71-74), Maiko Wakabayashi (71-74)
T16/+2 Yuri Fudoh (74-72)
T19/+3 Yuki Ichinose (75-72), Sakurako Mori (75-72), Yukari Baba (73-74)
T23/+4 Mai Arai (76-72), Ayako Uehara (74-74), Julie Lu (74-74)
T33/+5 Momoko Ueda (77-72), Shinobu Moromizato (75-74), Na-Ri Lee (73-76)
T39/+6 Yuko Mitsuka (80-70), Ah-Reum Hwang (77-73), Esther Lee (76-74)
T47/+7 Akiko Fukushima (78-73), Miki Saiki (78-73), Midori Yoneyama (76-75), Ji-Woo Lee (75-76), So-Hee Kim (75-76), Kumiko Kaneda (73-78)

Considering how many top players just missed missing the cut, I guess it's not that surprising that a few failed to miss missing it!

T58/+8 Eun-A Lim (78-74), Hiromi Mogi (78-74), Mie Nakata (78-74)
T64/+9 Woo-Soon Ko (78-75)
T77/+12 Erina Hara (77-79)

Hopefully that late double doesn't open Pandora's Box for Jeon. But it certainly opened the door for the 9 players within 5 shots of her now!]

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