Japan Women’s Open Saturday: Moving Backwards Day


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You know conditions were tough on the 3rd day of the Japan Women’s Open when Mika Miyazato made 4 bogeys–twice as many as she had made in the previous 2 days–and had to settle for a 73 to drop to -3 for the week.

No, wait, you know conditions were tough on the 3rd day of the Japan Women’s Open when Mika Miyazato bogeyed 2 of her last 4 holes and went +2 over her last 7 holes on moving day and extended her lead to 5 shots.

No, no, wait, you know conditions were tough on the 3rd day of the Japan Women’s Open when only one golfer, Erika Kikuchi, made up ground on Mika Miyazato–and she did it by firing an even-par 72 to stay at +2.

No, no, wait, wait, you know conditions were tough on the 3rd day of the Japan Women’s Open when Shiho Oyama, who made 6 birdies yesterday, made 6 bogeys yesterday, including 3 in her last 4 holes, to fall to +4, yet didn’t fall out of the top 10.

No, no, no, wait, wait, you know conditions were tough on the 3rd day of the Japan Women’s Open when living legend Yuri Fudoh, who’s won 50 times on tour and earned well north of a billion yen in her career, shot an 81 today.

No, no, no, wait, wait, wait, you know conditions were tough on the 3rd day of the Japan Women’s Open when the top living Japanese female golfer on the planet, Ai Miyazato, shot a birdieless 80.

I’ll stop there, but you get the picture, right?

Aaargh–I just can’t do it!  Shiho Toyonaga got a hole in one and still shot a 77.  Tomoko Kusukabe got on a 6-hole bogey train on her way to 80-ville.  Yukari Baba got off one stop earlier, but still found herself in 80-ville at the end of the day.  Ayako Uehara finished bogey-bogey-bogey-double to secure her 80.  And the list goes on!

So who besides Kikuchi is in position to benefit if Mikan falls prey tomorrow to the big-time troubles that have plagued the rest of the field?  Ji-Yai Shin, Bo-Mee Lee, Soo-Yun Kang, and Asako Fujimoto are “only” 6 shots behind her, Miki Saiki joined Oyama 7 back, Sakura Yokomine, Teresa Lu, and Harukyo Nomura are 8 off the pace, and Rikako Morita, Sun-Ju Ahn, Na-Ri Lee, and Mihoko Iseri managed to stay within single digits of Miyazato.

A lot depends on which Mikan will show up tomorrow.  Will it be the Mikan who gave up a 5-shot lead in 2009 or the Mikan who went wire-to-wire in 2010?  Will it be the Mikan who jumped out to the lead in 2011 but finished 79-81 on the weekend?  Or will it be the Mikan who put together a final-round 71 last year but just couldn’t chase Shanshan Feng down?

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