Sunday, May 19, 2013

Hoken No Madoguchi Ladies Sunday: Onnarin Sattayabanphot Breaks Through!

Onnarin Sattayabanphot held off Kumiko Kaneda and Maiko Wakabayashi to take her 1st-ever JLPGA title today at the Hoken No Madoguchi Ladies.  The Thai sensation stayed calm as Kaneda birdied her 1st 3 holes in a row to get to -7 for the week from 2 groups ahead of Sattayabanphot's threesome.  Onnarin birdied the par-3 2nd and 12th holes to get to -8, even as her playing partners fell off the pace.  Ritsuko Ryu opened with a birdieless 39 and was never a factor, while Wakabayashi bogeyed 3 of her 1st 8 holes and fell to -3 for the week.  The only player to hang with Sattayabanphot and Kaneda on the front was Shiho Oyama, who got to -6 for the week on the strength of a bogey-free 34, but disaster struck on the back in the form of 2 double bogeys and 2 bogeys, dropping the veteran into a tie for 6th with Ryu, Shinobu Moromizato, Yukari Baba, and Erina Hara.

So the stage was cleared for Kaneda and Sattayabanphot.  The young Japanese star was the first to blink with a bogey on the long par-4 15th that dropped her back to -6 and she seemed out of it when she followed it up with another bogey on the medium-length par-4 17th, but Sattayabanphot gave her some hope with a bogey on the long par-3 16th.  Still, she held a 2-shot lead with 2 holes to play and when she parred the 17th just needed a bogey or better to secure the victory.  She made it interesting, but in the end she made the bogey and joined the ranks of Thai winners that bangkokbobby surveyed earlier this morning.  Two late birdies by Wakabayashi enabled her to catch Kaneda at -5, while Rui Kitada played steady golf in the Fukuoka rains to stay at -4 and take 4th and 20-year-old Taiwanese newcomer Phoebe Yao fired the round of the day, a 4-birdie 69, to seize a solo 5th-place finish.

The JLPGA's biggest names were never a factor, but many of them ended up with pretty decent finishes:  Bo-Bae Song and Soo-Yun Kang were T11 at -1, Sun-Ju Ahn and Mayu Hattori tied for 16th at E, Miki Saiki, Sakura Yokomine, Hiromi Mogi, Ji-Hee Lee, and Ayako Uehara were among those who ended up T18 at +1.  Others weren't so fortunate, as Momoko Ueda had to settle for T27 at +3 after her 2nd-straight 75, Rikako Morita fell all the way to T33 at +4 after shooting a 76, and Yuri Fudoh ended up +5 and T37.

This means that there wasn't a whole lot of movement on the JLPGA money list, besides Sattayabanphot's leap from #23 to #5, Wakabayashi's from #28 to #12, Kaneda's debut in the top 30 at #15, and Kitada's at #17:

1. Miki Saiki ¥51.99M
2. Rikako Morita ¥46.13M
3. Sakura Yokomine ¥39.12M
4. Hiromi Mogi ¥34.42M
5. Onnarin Sattayabanphot ¥31.58M
6. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥27.42M
7. Natsuka Hori ¥25.90M
8. Ritsuko Ryu ¥22.13M
9. Yuki Ichinose ¥21.90M
10. Mamiko Higa ¥21.51M
11. Teresa Lu ¥20.02M
12. Maiko Wakabayashi ¥19.13M
13. Yukari Baba ¥18.46M
14. Na-Ri Kim ¥16.35M
15. Kumiko Kaneda ¥15.63M
16. Miki Sakai ¥14.54M
17. Rui Kitada ¥14.02M
18. Junko Omote ¥13.98M
19. Erika Kikuchi ¥13.91M
20. Shiho Oyama ¥13.31M
21. Soo-Yun Kang ¥13.27M
22. Harukyo Nomura ¥11.95M
23. Na-Ri Lee ¥11.75M
24. Yumiko Yoshida ¥11.48M
25. Sun-Ju Ahn ¥11.44M
26. Yuki Sakurai ¥11.20M
27. Erina Hara ¥11.16M
28. Megumi Kido ¥10.88M
29. Kaori Ohe ¥10.72M
30. Phoebe Yao ¥10.09M
31. Mayu Hattori ¥9.96M
32. Bo-Mee Lee ¥9.92M
33. Ji-Woo Lee ¥9.91M
34. Young Kim ¥9.09M
35. Ji-Hee Lee ¥8.40M

It's looking like Momoko Ueda will stay on the JLPGA for at least another week for the Chukyo TV Bridgestone Ladies Open.  I don't see Ayako Uehara or Harukyo Nomura on the field list, so they're probably either in the States or headed there (they're not entered in the LPGA's inaugural event in the Bahamas, although Ai Miyazato, Mika Miyazato, and Chie Arimura are).  Looks like most everyone else among the JLPGA's finest will be teeing it up next week.  It'll be interesting to see if the players who contended this week can keep it going in Aichi!

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