Sunday, September 28, 2014

Miyagi TV Cup Dunlop Ladies Open Sunday: 23-Year-Old Miki Sakai Outguns 21-Year-Old Ayaka Watanabe

23-year-old Miki Sakai earned her 2nd JLPGA victory of 2014 and of her career by outgunning 21-year-old Ayaka Watanabe on the back 9 at the Miyagi TV Cup Dunlop Ladies Open today.

A bogey-free 32 by Sakai got her to -7 for the week, which put her 1 shot ahead of Watanabe, who bogeyed her opening hole and parred the rest of the front, and a shot behind Watanabe's co-leader, Teresa Lu, who made 2 birdies and a bogey in her 1st 8 holes.  Sakai, playing 3 groups ahead of Watanabe, Lu, and Sun-Ju Ahn (who stayed at -5 most of the day and ended up at -6 thanks to a walkoff birdie), proceeded to bogey the par-4 10th and par her next several holes.  But Lu joined her at -6 with back-to-back bogeys on 9 and 10, even as Watanabe began a roller-coaster ride on the back 9 that saw her make a grand total of 0 pars.  A birdie on 10 gave her the lead, but 3 straight bogeys dropped her all the way to -4.  Lu responded with back-to-back birdies on 11 and 12 to return to -8, and the tournament seemed to be hers to lose.  And lose it she did with a double on the par-3 15th.  By then, Sakai had gone on a run of her own, finishing birdie-par-birdie to become the leader in the clubhouse at -8.  At that point, she had a 2-shot lead on Lu and a 4-shot lead on Watanabe, who had birdied the par-5 14th and bogeyed 15.  Lu parred out, but Watanabe finished with 3 birdies in a row to fall just short of forcing a playoff with Sakai.

In the end, Junko Omote's bogey-free 33 on the back allowed her to catch Lu and Ahn at -6 in a tie for 3rd, while defending champion Na-Ri Lee birdied 4 of her last 11 holes to snag a T6 at -5 with Kaori Ohe (who fired the low round of the day while starting on the back, a 7-birdie 67) and the unheralded Tomoko Kanai.  Last year's money-list title-holder Rikako Morita got a top 10, as did fellow youngsters Natsuka Hori, Erika Kikuchi, and Mami Fukuda.  Bigger names finished further back:  Sakura Yokomine, Momoko Ueda, and Yumiko Yoshida at -2, Ji-Hee Lee, Shiho Oyama, and Misuzu Narita at -1, Mi-Jeong Jeon and Bo-Mee Lee at +1, and Yuri Fudoh at +3.

As a result, there was a little shake-up on the JLPGA money list.

1. Bo-Mee Lee ¥105.34M
2. Sun-Ju Ahn ¥94.71M
3. Ji-Yai Shin ¥92.53M
4. Misuzu Narita ¥86.73M
5. Miki Sakai ¥75.15M
6. Esther Lee ¥52.54M
7. Teresa Lu ¥51.54M
8. Ayaka Watanabe ¥51.41M
9. Erina Hara ¥51.23M
10. Na-Ri Lee ¥50.29M
11. Lala Anai ¥46.45M
12. Shiho Oyama ¥45.28M
13. Onnarin Sattayabanphot ¥44.56M
14. Rikako Morita ¥39.54M
15. Ritsuko Ryu ¥39.29M
16. Momoko Ueda ¥37.45M
17. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥36.50M
18. Ai Suzuki ¥33.37M
19. Saiki Fujita ¥32.23M
20. Yuki Ichinose ¥31.61M
21. Ji-Hee Lee ¥31.58M
22. Kaori Ohe ¥29.57M
23. Phoebe Yao ¥28.80M
24. Mayu Hattori ¥28.41M
25. Junko Omote ¥26.86M
26. Yumiko Yoshida ¥26.42M
27. Hikari Fujita ¥26.31M
28. Sakura Yokomine ¥25.37M
29. Asako Fujimoto ¥24.61M
30. Erika Kikuchi ¥24.51M
31. Mami Fukuda ¥23.75M
32. Yeon-Ju Jung ¥22.92M
33. Rumi Yoshiba ¥22.85M
34. Yukari Baba ¥22.47M
35. Kotono Kozuma ¥22.00M
36. Megumi Kido ¥21.42M
37. Na-Ri Kim ¥21.21M
38. Mamiko Higa ¥20.81M
39. Natsuka Hori ¥20.54M
40. Shanshan Feng ¥20.04M
41. Soo-Yun Kang ¥19.26M
42. Rui Kitada ¥19.22M
43. Akane Iijima ¥19.20M
44. Miki Saiki ¥18.22M
45. Megumi Shimokawa ¥17.82M
46. Yukari Nishiyama ¥17.33M
47. Eun-Bi Jang ¥15.92M
48. Nana Yamashiro ¥15.06M
49. Da-Ye Na ¥14.94M
50. Yuri Fudoh ¥14.67M

Next up is the Japan Women's Open, the biggest tournament of the year on the JLPGA.  More on it soon!

No comments: