Friday, October 8, 2010

Sankyo Ladies Friday: Inbee Park Making Most of Her Time on the JLPGA

It seems like only yesterday I was asking what Inbee Park was doing on the JLPGA this week, of all weeks. Oh yeah, it was. And I didn't even note then that the defending champion of the Sankyo Ladies event, Ai Miyazato, chose to return to the States in her bid to be the 1st Japanese golfer to top the LPGA money list or win Player of the Year since Ayako Okamoto did both in 1987.

Well, apparently, all Park's doing in Japan is gunning for her 2nd win and 6th top 2 in 10 starts! Even though she bogeyed 2 of her last 3 holes, she's tied for the lead with Mi-Jeong Jeon at -4, thanks to her 4 birdies in her 1st 11 holes and her eagle on the 525-yard par-5 14th. One thing I forgot to mention in yesterday's post was how much Park's game has changed since her rookie season in 2007. She used to be a classic precision player(if not as precise as most of them); now she bombs it around with (or at least close to) the best of the longer hitters on either tour (and with about as much accuracy). Well, she'll be teeing it up tomorrow with JLPGA legend Yuri Fudoh, who's always maintained that it was her lack of power that made her shy away from the LPGA (while winning scores of events in Japan and over a billion yen in the process).

Let's take a look at the other leaders and notables:

T1/-4 Inbee Park, Mi-Jeong Jeon (68)
T3/-3 Yuri Fudoh, Sun-Ju Ahn, Chie Arimura, Yukari Baba, Mayu Hattori (69)
8th/-2 Ah-Reum Hwang (70)
T9/-1 Shiho Oyama, Mie Nakata, Yuki Ichinose, Ritsuko Ryu, Junko Omote (71)

T14/E Rui Kitada, Akane Iijima, Asako Fujimoto, Kaori Aoyama, Na-Ri Lee, Jee-Hae Bae (72)
T24/+1 Ayako Uehara, Miki Saiki, Hiromi Takesue, Esther Lee (73)
T34/+2 Momoko Ueda, Sakura Yokomine, Shinobu Moromizato, Saiki Fujita, Hyun-Ju Shin, Eun-A Lim, So-Hee Kim (74)
T43/+3 Young Kim, Na-Ri Kim, Maiko Wakabayashi, Onnarin Sattayabanphot (75)
T58/+4 Ji-Hee Lee, Yuko Mitsuka, Tamie Durdin, Hiromi Mogi, Erina Hara (76)
T71/+5 Bo-Bae Song, Ji-Woo Lee (77)
T80/+6 Yun-Jye Wei, Li-Ying Ye (78)
T90/+7 Chieko Amanuma, Julie Lu, Mai Arai (79)
T105/+13 Rikako Morita (85)

It's great to see so many of the JLPGA youngest golfers stepping it up after Mika Miyazato's JWO win last week, but let's hope Morita's round was just a blip and not a sign of injury. Surprisingly high scores from a lot of the JLPGA's biggest names, as well. Here's hoping they rebound tomorrow!

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