Sunday, June 16, 2013

Suntory Ladies Sunday: Rikako Morita Fires 31 to Notch 3rd Win of 2013

JLPGA money-list leader Rikako Morita fired a bogey-free 31 on the back 9 of the Suntory Ladies, which included 3 birdies in her last 4 holes, to pass 3rd-round leader Kumiko Kaneda and hold off Yumiko Yoshida and 19-year-old Mamiko Higa by a single shot.  The 23-year-old Kyoto native has now won 3 times on the JLPGA this season; because she's also had 2 silvers and 4 bronzes, she's already earned more this season than in any of her previous 4 full seasons on tour.  Having brought her career victory total up to 5, Morita is clearly the player to beat in 2013 on the JLPGA.

To get the win, she didn't just outduel the JLPGA's top youngsters (such as Ritsuko Ryu, who blistered the course with a 66 to finish at -8, 2 shots behind Morita), she also outran some truly accomplished players on tour, such as Yuri Fudoh (50 career wins, almost 1.3 billion yen in career winnings), whose 70 brought her to -8, 2 shots behind Morita, Ji-Hee Lee (17 wins, over 777 million yen in winnings), whose 69 got her into a tie for 7th at -6, and Sun-Ju Ahn (11 wins in only 4 years on tour, over 387 million yen in winnings), who slipped into neutral for the weekend but still managed to earn her 3rd top 10 of the season this week.  And she left former money-list winners like Sakura Yokomine (73, -2) and Shiho Oyama (72, E) in the dust.

With Miki Saiki finishing in the middle of the pack, the money-list leader extended her lead this week.

1. Rikako Morita ¥86.91M
2. Miki Saiki ¥56.46M
3. Sakura Yokomine ¥43.53M
4. Mamiko Higa ¥41.79M
5. Hiromi Mogi ¥35.49M
6. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥35.04M
7. Natsuka Hori ¥32.60M
8. Onnarin Sattayabanphot ¥32.56M
9. Ritsuko Ryu ¥31.85M
10. Junko Omote ¥27.81M
11. Yuki Ichinose ¥27.61M
12. Kumiko Kaneda ¥24.10M
13. Yukari Baba ¥23.61M
14. Maiko Wakabayashi ¥22.77M
15. Yumiko Yoshida ¥21.50M
16. Shiho Oyama ¥21.46M
17. Teresa Lu ¥21.07M
18. Mayu Hattori ¥20.29M
19. Miki Sakai ¥17.67M
20. Na-Ri Kim ¥17.56M
21. Megumi Kido ¥15.78M
22. Erika Kikuchi ¥15.67M
23. Rui Kitada ¥14.56M
24. Esther Lee ¥14.44M
25. Na-Ri Lee ¥14.05M
26. Soo-Yun Kang ¥13.87M
27. Sun-Ju Ahn ¥13.44M
28. Yuki Sakurai ¥13.33M
29. Phoebe Yao ¥13.12M
30. Ji-Hee Lee ¥13.05M
31. Harukyo Nomura ¥12.63M
32. Kaori Ohe ¥12.43M
33. Erina Hara ¥12.01M
34. Ji-Woo Lee ¥11.80M
35. Bo-Mee Lee ¥11.45M

Next up on the JLPGA is the Nichirei Ladies in Chiba prefecture.  Morita will get a chance to make it 2 in a row and join a list of former champions that includes Yuri Fudoh, Ai Miyazato, Sakura Yokomine, Shiho Oyama, Mi-Jeong Jeon, Ji-Hee Lee, and Yuko Mitsuka.

No comments: