Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ito-En Ladies Overview: Yokomine Goes Wire-to-Wire for Win #5 of '09

Sorry for the paucity of JLPGA coverage this week. With the Full Metal Archivist and I still feeling the aftereffects of H1N1 and imoto getting her turn right now to experience its particular pleasures, it's been...not fun. So anyway here's a tournament overview of the latest JLPGA event.

The Ito-En Ladies is the 2nd-to-last event on the 2009 JLPGA schedule. Last year, Miho Koga began the charge that lead to her money title right here, with a gritty win over Ai Miyazato and Yuko Mitsuka. This year, Koga was in the mix, but never quite in the thick of things, as Sakura Yokomine maintained slim leads on Mi-Jeong Jeon (1 shot) and Ayako Uehara (2) over the 1st 2 rounds. With Jeon's unfortunate collapse over her final 12 holes today, along with Uehara's slow start, Yokomine finally saw some daylight when she birdied 3 of her 1st 4 holes and returned to that -3 mark on the day when she birdied the short par-4 14th. Thus, when Koga offset her late trio of birdies that had pulled her within 3 of the lead with a closing pair of bogeys, Yokomine found herself cruising to a wire-to-wire win.

And where was the money-list leader while all this was going on? You'll have to look a ways down the list of leaders and notables:

1st/-10 Sakura Yokomine (67-70-69)
2nd/-6 Ayako Uehara (69-70-71)
3rd/-5 Miho Koga (70-71-70)
4th/-3 Yuki Ichinose (71-70-72)
T5/-2 Kaori Aoyama (72-71-71), Chie Arimura (71-71-72), Tamie Durdin (69-73-72)
8th/-1 Yun-Joo Yeong (73-71-71)
9th/E Mi-Jeong Jeon (68-70-78)
T10/+1 Hyun-Ju Shin (74-73-70), Yuriko Ohtsuka (74-73-70), Tomoko Kusakabe (70-74-73)

T13/+2 Na-Ri Lee (71-76-71), Akane Iijima (72-73-73), Hiromi Mogi (70-74-74)
T17/+3 Shinobu Moromizato (71-73-75), Yuko Mitsuka (70-72-77)
T21/+4 Maiko Wakabayashi (76-72-72), Yumiko Yoshida (74-71-75), Nikki Campbell (73-71-76)
T25/+5 Rui Kitada (71-75-75), Ah-Reum Hwang (72-72-77)
T30/+6 Mai Arai (74-75-73), Yuri Fudoh (75-72-75)
T34/+7 Ji-Woo Lee (70-79-74), Julie Lu (78-71-74), Yun-Jye Wei (72-76-75), Saiki Fujita (72-75-76), Mayu Hattori (71-72-80)
T45/+10 Erina Hara (75-74-77)
T50/+13 Akiko Fukushima (74-74-81)

Missing the cut this week were Yuko Saitoh, So-Hee Kim, Rikako Morita, Eun-A Lim, Sakurako Mori, and Miki Saiki. Bo-Bae Song either withdrew during the 1st round or didn't start, while Ji-Hee Lee WDed after an opening 74. Looking at the majority of the scores, my guess is the weather conditions were challenging all week.

Be that as it may, the race for the top of the money list is now tighter than it's been in a long time, and not just at the very top:

1. Shinobu Moromizato ¥153.42M
2. Sakura Yokomine ¥149.45M

3. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥125.51M
4. Chie Arimura ¥122.19M

5. Yuko Mitsuka ¥82.68M
6. Bo-Bae Song ¥70.34M
7. Miho Koga ¥68.82M
8. Ji-Hee Lee ¥67.85M
9. Yukari Baba ¥55.08M

10. Ayako Uehara ¥46.68M
11. Akiko Fukushima ¥45.79M
12. Nikki Campbell ¥45.59M
13. Eun-A Lim ¥45.57M
14. Yuko Saitoh ¥43.28M
15. Yuri Fudoh ¥41.49M
16. Ai Miyazato ¥41.06M
17. Miki Saiki ¥41.04M

18. Ah-Reum Hwang ¥37.58M
19. Ji-Yai Shin ¥37.42M
20. Tamie Durdin ¥37.00M
21. Rui Kitada ¥35.36M
22. Erina Hara ¥34.31M

23. Momoko Ueda ¥32.85M
24. Akane Iijima ¥32.32M
25. Hiromi Mogi ¥31.68M
26. Mayu Hattori ¥30.48M
27. Rikako Morita ¥30.40M

28. Maiko Wakabayashi ¥28.16M
29. Na-Ri Lee ¥27.49M
30. Midori Yoneyama ¥26.91M
31. Ji-Woo Lee ¥26.38M
32. Saiki Fujita ¥25.98M
33. Hyun-Ju Shin ¥25.53M
34. Kaori Aoyama ¥25.38M
35. Li-Ying Ye ¥25.02M
36. Michie Ohba ¥24.84M

37. So-Hee Kim ¥19.98M
38. Yuki Ichinose ¥18.86M
39. Julie Lu ¥18.70M
40. Hiromi Takesue ¥17.59M
41. Nobuko Kizawa ¥17.33M
42. Yui Kawahara ¥16.72M
43. Mie Nakata ¥16.52M
44. Tomoko Kusakabe ¥16.50M
45. Junko Omote ¥15.90M
46. Maria Iida ¥15.11M
47. Yun-Jye Wei ¥14.97M
48. Natsu Nagai ¥14.58M
49. Kuniko Maeda ¥14.38M
50. Tomomi Hirose ¥14.16M

The top 50 on the 2009 money list get full memberships for 2010. As the final event of the season, the Ricoh Cup, is open only to winners of 2009 JLPGA events, next week's Daio Paper ElleAir Ladies (where Yokomine got her 1st and only win of 2008) is for all the marbles for those fighting to get into the top 50, among them youngsters like Kumiko Kaneda (#54), Da-Ye Na (#64), Esther Lee (#67), Sakurako Mori (#68), and Na Zhang (#74). Zhang's been sidelined by injuries most of this season, so I don't know if she (or Shiho Oyama, for that matter) get medical exemptions into next season, or have to tee it up in JLPGA Q-School at the end of the month and/or start of next month. More on that when I find out.

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