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Shiho Oyama has the 1st-round lead at the Mizuno Classic, thanks to a run of 5 birdies in her 1st 10 holes. Despite a pair of bogeys early on the back, she battled back with a birdie on the par-5 16th to post a 68, 1 clear of 9 players, including LPGAers Ji-Yai Shin, Brittany Lincicome (who eagled the par-5 1st), Chella Choi, Hee-Won Han, and Pernilla Lindberg and JLPGAers Na-Ri Lee, Junko Omote, Kaori Nakamura, and Eun-Bi Jang. There are another 9 players 2 shots behind Oyama, including LPGA rookie Austin Ernst, Oyama’s playing partner Brittany Lang, ex-LPGAer Teresa Lu, and late entry Mamiko Higa. 3 shots back come the biggest names in the field, Stacy Lewis, So Yeon Ryu, and Mika Miyazato (among many others), while the list of golfers at E is almost as impressive: Karrie Webb, Shanshan Feng, Sakura Yokomine, Chie Arimura, Harukyo Nomura, and Natsuka Hori (another late entry).
Unfortunately, while my picks for hottest on the JLPGA played well today, not everyone did nearly as well: JLPGA money-list leader Rikako Morita continued her mediocre play of late with a 74 (despite matching Lincicome’s 1st-hole eagle), LPGA Rookie the Year race leader Caroline Masson did 2 shots worse, and her closest challenger, Moriya Jutanugarn, did 1 shot worse. Here’s exactly how the LPGA rookies stand after 18 holes:
+1 Ayako Uehara, Lisa McCloskey
With the 2nd round already underway, I’ll keep this one short and give more details tomorrow!
[Update 1 (8:59 pm): Here’s bangkokbobby‘s take!]