Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hisako Higuchi Morinaga Ladies Sunday: Momoko Ueda Chases Down Junko Omote for 2nd Win of 2014, 11th of Her JLPGA Career

Momoko Ueda chased down Junko Omote over the home stretch of the Hisako Higuchi Morinaga Ladies today, making up 4 shots in the last 7 holes and 3 in the last 4, to take her 2nd JLPGA title of 2014.

Ji-Hee Lee, the 1st- and 2nd-round leader who was going for her 18th career JLPGA victory, went from a bad back 9 yesterday to a worse front today and plunged down the leaderboard, even as  Omote, who's collected 3 wins in a 17-year career on tour, fired a bogey-free 32 to move to -11 and take a 3-shot lead on Ueda, a 4-shot lead on Erina Hara, and a 5-shot lead on Mika Miyazato and Yumiko Yoshida.  Even as Megumi Kido made a move on the back to get herself into contention, Miyazato birdied the 421-yard par-4 11th, and Yoshida, Hara, and Ueda birdied the 503-yard par-5 12th, Omote hung tough with a string of pars on the front.  But it all came apart for her as she made back-to-back bogeys on the 15th and 16th holes, 2 of the longest par 4s on Morinaga Takataki Country Club in Chiba.  At that point, she was tied with Ueda at -9, 1 shot ahead of Hara and Yoshida, and 2 shots ahead of Miyazato and Kido.  With the latter 4 safe in the clubhouse, it came down to Ueda and Omote to decide the title.  When they both parred the long par-3 17th, whoever could birdie the 529-yard par-5 18th would win the tournament.  And that player was Momoko Ueda.

Ueda's 11th career LPGA victory moved her to 10th on the 2014 JLPGA money list.  Even though the money-list leader Sun-Ju Ahn and #4 Misuzu Narita sat this one out and Bo-Mee Lee, Ji-Yai Shin, Teresa Lu, and Miki Sakai had fairly disappointing weeks, there's still a pretty big gap between the tour's top 6 and the rest of its top players.

1. Sun-Ju Ahn ¥148.41M
2. Bo-Mee Lee ¥114.07M
3. Ji-Yai Shin ¥98.95M
4. Misuzu Narita ¥91.57M
5. Teresa Lu ¥88.92M
6. Miki Sakai ¥85.48M
7. Shiho Oyama ¥75.45M
8. Na-Ri Lee ¥70.40M
9. Erina Hara ¥65.83M
10. Momoko Ueda ¥61.95M
11. Ayaka Watanabe ¥59.57M
12. Esther Lee ¥56.93M
13. Onnarin Sattayabanphot ¥54.05M
14. Lala Anai ¥49.83M
15. Rikako Morita ¥47.15M
16. Ai Suzuki ¥46.72M
17. Ritsuko Ryu ¥45.64M
18. Ji-Hee Lee ¥42.41M
19. Yumiko Yoshida ¥42.29M
20. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥38.32M
21. Erika Kikuchi ¥37.59M
22. Junko Omote ¥36.02M
23. Sakura Yokomine ¥35.11M
24. Saiki Fujita ¥35.04M
25. Kaori Ohe ¥34.77M
26. Mami Fukuda ¥32.16M
27. Yuki Ichinose ¥31.61M
28. Kotono Kozuma ¥31.09M
29. Phoebe Yao ¥31.01M
30. Mayu Hattori ¥30.07M
31. Asako Fujimoto ¥28.08M
32. Megumi Kido ¥26.77M
33. Hikari Fujita ¥26.71M
34. Na-Ri Kim ¥26.20M
35. Yeon-Ju Jung ¥26.18M
36. Yukari Baba ¥25.72M
37. Soo-Yun Kang ¥24.16M
38. Rumi Yoshiba ¥23.92M
39. Natsuka Hori ¥22.60M
40. Akane Iijima ¥22.20M
41. Yukari Nishiyama ¥21.90M
42. Mamiko Higa ¥21.71M
43. Da-Ye Na ¥21.66M
44. Rui Kitada ¥21.22M
45. Shanshan Feng ¥20.04M
46. Miki Saiki ¥18.67M
47. Megumi Shimokawa ¥17.82M
48. Ah-Reum Hwang ¥17.54M
49. Eun-Bi Jang ¥17.47M
50. Yuri Fudoh ¥16.45M

Next up on the JLPGA is Mizuno Classic, which is of course co-sponsored by the LPGA and was won by Teresa Lu last year.  It's fun to see how Mizuno introduces the LPGAers in the field and compare it to how the LPGA introduces the JLPGAers.  But since I'm avoiding until I watch the coverage from Taiwan, I'll hold off on making that comparison for now!

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