Sunday, October 13, 2013

Stanley Ladies Sunday: Soo-Yun Kang Breaks Through for 1st JLPGA Victory

Soo-Yun Kang broke through at the Stanley Ladies for her 1st JLPGA victory with a walkoff birdie that secured a 3-shot victory over Harukyo Nomura, who bogeyed the final hole to drop back into a tie for 2nd with Sakura Yokomine.

Kang and Nomura had been duelling all day, as they blew past 1st- and 2nd-round leader Mayu Hattori when the final two groups made the turn.  By the time Hattori had bogeyed 9 and 10 to fall back to -7 for the week, Kang had already made 4 birdies on the front and Nomura a birdie and an eagle on the par-5 8th to climb to -9.  Playing in the group ahead of Nomura, Yokomine, and Hattori, Kang became the 1st player to get to double digits under par when she birdied the par-5 11th, but Nomura matched it minutes later.  The key turning point came on the very next hole, a long par 4, where Kang birdied it and Nomura bogeyed it.  But the young Japanese rising star didn't give up, following up Kang's birdie on the par-4 15th with one of her own on the par-3 16th, and when Kang responded with a bogey on the par-4 17th, Nomura still had a chance.  At least until the 2-shot swing on the final hole....

Ah-Reum Hwang fired a 67 to move into a tie for 4th with Hattori and money-list leader Rikako Morita, who earned her 2nd-straight top-5 finish after 11-straight events outside the top 10.

I'll be back later with more.  Onechan had a sleepover and we are getting ready to leave for her skating lesson!

[Update 1 (11:58 am):  Other notables' scores include a 66 from Ji-Hee Lee that brought her into the top 15 and a 73 from Momoko Ueda that dropped her back to T42.  With Teresa Lu stalling in the final round, Miki Saiki and Yumiko Yoshida faltering, Natsuka Hori missing the cut, and Mamiko Higa playing on the LPGA in Malaysia, Morita and Yokomine distanced themselves a little bit from their closest pursuers on the JLPGA money list:

1. Rikako Morita ¥103.26M
2. Sakura Yokomine ¥81.74M
3. Miki Saiki ¥79.74M
4. Yumiko Yoshida ¥70.47M
5. Natsuka Hori ¥64.27M
6. Mamiko Higa ¥63.65M
7. Sun-Ju Ahn ¥60.79M
8. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥59.49M
9. Teresa Lu ¥56.60M
10. Bo-Mee Lee ¥54.10M
11. Ritsuko Ryu ¥50.09M
12. Na-Ri Lee ¥46.31M
13. Yuki Ichinose ¥44.29M
14. Erika Kikuchi ¥43.17M
15. Onnarin Sattayabanphot ¥42.42M
16. Da-Ye Na ¥40.80M
17. Soo-Yun Kang ¥40.25M
18. Junko Omote ¥39.45M
19. Misuzu Narita ¥39.14M
20. Yukari Baba ¥38.22M
21. Kumiko Kaneda ¥37.55M
22. Hiromi Mogi ¥36.88M
23. Asako Fujimoto ¥36.21M
24. Esther Lee ¥33.86M
25. Mayu Hattori ¥32.85M
26. Shiho Oyama ¥30.98M
27. Ji-Hee Lee ¥30.67M
28. Yuri Fudoh ¥30.53M
29. Harukyo Nomura ¥29.88M
30. Na-Ri Kim ¥29.77M
31. Miki Sakai ¥28.86M
32. Rui Kitada ¥28.79M
33. Erina Hara ¥27.41M
34. Maiko Wakabayashi ¥27.26M
35. Kaori Ohe ¥25.98M
36. Megumi Kido ¥23.55M
37. Lala Anai ¥22.51M
38. Young Kim ¥22.36M
39. Kaori Nakamura ¥21.78M
40. Akane Iijima ¥20.56M
41. Eun-Bi Jang ¥18.06M
42. Yuko Fukuda ¥18.03M
43. Kaori Aoyama ¥18.01M
44. Yuki Sakurai ¥17.68M
45. Yun-Jye Wei ¥17.11M
46. Ah-Reum Hwang ¥17.06M
47. Phoebe Yao ¥16.61M
48. Saiki Fujita ¥16.06M
49. Ayako Uehara ¥14.96M
50. Ji-Woo Lee ¥14.89M

The top 50 keep their cards for 2014, so it's worth noting that Shanshan Feng is at #54, Ji-Yai Shin at #56, Bo-Bae Song at #59, Yuko Mitsuka at #62, Li-Ying Ye at #63, Shinobu Moromizato at #66, Hyun-Ju Shin at #68, Momoko Ueda at #75, Ai Miyazato at #76, and Chie Arimura at #120.  It's looking more and more like Uehara will have to keep playing on the JLPGA to have a chance at keeping her card, which means that she's at a huge disadvantage in the LPGA Rookie of the Year race.

Next week is the Fujitsu Ladies.  It looks like most of the top players will be teeing it up, so let's see if the JLPGA's young guns can fight back against another push from the tour's South Korean contingent!]

[Update 2 (12:46 pm):  Bo-Mee Lee and Mi-Jeong Jeon got to play in the KLPGA's 3rd major of 2013, which was won today by young gun Ha Na Jang in dominating fashion!]

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