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If the leaderboard in the LPGA’s final event of the season lacks a little star power and its end of the season races a whole lot of drama, then golf fans looking for both would do well to pay attention to the JLPGA the next couple of weeks. On moving day at the Daio Paper Elleair Ladies, Rikako Morita, who has led the JLPGA’s money list for most of the season but who recently has been passed by Sakura Yokomine, birdied 8 of her 1st 15 holes to leapfrog not 1, not 2, but 5 former money-list leaders. Even though she bogeyed the 165-yard par-3 16th, she bounced right back with a birdie on the 479-yard par-5 17th to extend her lead to 2 shots on living legend Yuri Fudoh (-3 through 15 today, -10 overall), 3 on Momoko Ueda (-2 through 15), 4 on Yokomine (-4 through 17), Ji-Hee Lee (-4 through 17), and Sun-Ju Ahn (-2 through 16), and 5 on Ritsuko Ryu (66), Onnarin Sattayabanphot (-3 through 16), 1st-round leader Shiho Oyama (-3 through 15), and 2nd-round leader Yukari Baba (+1 through 15). Let’s see how this leaderboard looks when I wake up!
[Update 1 (12:16 am): This is too exciting! Morita parred 18 to go 31-33-64 and finish at -12. Ji-Hee Lee birdied her last 2 holes to post a 67 and get to -9. Yokomine parrd 18 to post a 68 and finish at -8.]