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The Japan Women’s Open is the most prestigious tournament on the JLPGA for a reason: it makes the U.S. Open in the pre-Mike Davis era look like a walk in the park! This tournament values gaman–the ability to endure with patience and not give up–more than any other I know of.
Case in point: Mika Miyazato and Shiho Oyama are the only golfers under par in the entire field, Mikan by shooting her 2nd-straight 3-birdie 70 to get to -4, and Oyama by throwing 6 birdies at the field to break 70 and move to -1. Ji-Yai Shin put together a 5-birdie 69 of her own to move into at tie for 3rd at -1 with Yuri Fudoh, Sakura Yokomine, Soo-Yun Kang, Harukyo Nomura, Japan Women’s Amateur runner-up Yumi Matsubara, and 1st-round co-leader Mihoko Iseri. 1 shot further off the pace are money-list leader Rikako Morita, 1st-round co-leader Miki Saiki, former money-list leader Sun-Ju Ahn, and last year’s runner-up on the money list Bo-Mee Lee, among several Japanese young guns, while Ji-Hee Lee, 1st-round co-leader Teresa Lu, Mamiko Higa, and Japan Women’s Amateur champion Haruka Morita are still in the top 20 at +3.
But when In-Kyung Kim is +5 (along with last year’s money-list leader Mi-Jeong Jeon and last week’s winner Na-Ri Lee), when Ai Miyazato is +6 (she started -1 and bogey-free in her 1st 7 holes, but eneded up with a 74), and fewer than 65 players are less than double digits over par, you know there’s a whole lot of gaman going on this week in Japan!