Sunday, April 14, 2013

Studio Alice Ladies Sunday: Na-Ri Kim Returns to the Winner's Circle

Former LPGA member Na-Ri Kim bounced back from a double bogey on the 144-yard par-3 3rd with 4 birdies and no bogeys the rest of the day to chase down Miki Saiki and outpace Yuki Sakurai and take the Studio Alice Ladies for her 2nd career win on the JLPGA and 1st since her rookie season in 2010.

2nd-round leaders Ah-Reum Hwang and Miki Sakai imploded early in their rounds and on the back 9 today, opening the door for a host of golfers.  A double on the front derailed ex-LPGAer Teresa Lu's quest for her 1st JLPGA victory, but it was her inability to respond to her fellow Class of '06er's run on the back that did her in.  Mayu Hattori was only 1 shot off the lead with a few holes to go but bogeyed 2 of her last 3 holes to fall 3 shots behind Kim.  Even 14-year-old Minami Katsu was able to put herself into contention with 3 early birdies that got her to -1 with 12 holes left to play, but unfortunately she couldn't make another birdie the rest of the way and doubled 18.  Still, she ended up alone in 12th, a couple of shots ahead of money-list leader Rikako Morita, who couldn't buy a birdie and ended up with her worst finish of 2013 (T15).

The 27-year-old Kim's win breaks the streak of young Japanese golfers winning on tour this year and shakes up the JLPGA money list a bit, as she jumps into the top 10 for the 1st time this season:

1. Rikako Morita ¥34.81M
2. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥21.77M
3. Mamiko Higa ¥19.18M
4. Natsuka Hori ¥16.93M
5. Yuki Ichinose ¥15.07M
6. Teresa Lu ¥14.62M
7. Miki Saiki ¥13.58M
8. Na-Ri Kim ¥12.94M
9. Sakura Yokomine ¥12.80M
10. Ritsuko Ryu ¥12.57M
11. Erika Kikuchi ¥11.84M
12. Harukyo Nomura ¥10.74M
13. Yukari Baba ¥10.20M
14. Megumi Kido ¥9.14M
15. Kaori Ohe ¥8.25M
16. Young Kim ¥8.24M
17. Shiho Oyama ¥8.15M
18. Onnarin Sattayabanphot ¥8.12M
19. Hiromi Mogi ¥6.54M
20. Na-Ri Lee ¥6.50M
21. Da-Ye Na ¥6.42M
22. Miki Sakai ¥6.25M
23. Ji-Hee Lee ¥6.00M
24. Lala Anai ¥5.82M
25. Yumiko Yoshida ¥5.77M

Next up is the Vantelin Ladies, a new event on the JLPGA. No field list that I can find....

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