Saturday, March 30, 2013

AXA Ladies Saturday: 20-Year-Old Natsuka Hori Passes Shiho Oyama with 64

Shiho Oyama has made only one bogey over her 1st 36 holes of the AXA Ladies in Miyazaki, but she trails Natsuka Hori by 3 shots heading into the final round tomorrow after the 20-year-old opened with a 29 on the front and birdied 3 of her last 4 holes to post a 64 today.  Hori, whose best finish on the JLPGA is a T15 and who posted 5 top 25s in her 1st full season on tour last year, isn't the only youngster Oyama will have to outplay if she wants her 13th career victory on tour and 1st since 2011 to come to her tomorrow.  20-year-old Harukyo Nomura is 4 shots off the lead, while 23-year-old Rikako Morita, who leads the JLPGA money list on the strength of her gold, silver, and bronze in her 1st 3 starts, is lurking 5 shots back, along with 24-year-old Erika Kikuchi and 29-year-old Onnarin Sattayabanphot.  With Sun-Ju Ahn 7 back, Ji-Hee Lee 8 back, and Sakura Yokomine and Mi-Jeong Jeon 9 back, it's up to Oyama to uphold the honor of the JLPGA's biggest names.  It would be a huge step in her comeback from serious elbow problems to chase down Hori and hold off Nomura and Morita.  Let's see if she can do it, or if the JLPGA's youth movement will continue!

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