Daio Paper Elleair Ladies Sunday: Rikako Morita Eagles 17 for Win

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When 3rd-round leader Rikako Morita double bogeyed the par-5 9th to fall back to -10 for the week at the Daio Paper Elleair Ladies, she suffered a 3-shot swing on playing partners Ji-Hee Lee and Momoko Ueda, who all of a sudden led her by 3 and 2 shots, respectively.  Meanwhile, Asako Fujimoto had fired a bogey-free 33 from the group ahead of them to get to -11, her playing partner Sakura Yokomine had birdied 3 of her last 6 holes on the front to catch Morita at -10, and, playing from several groups ahead, Mamiko Higa had birdied 5 of her 1st 11 holes to join them.

Morita responded with birdies on 11 and 12 to catch Lee and Ueda (who bogeyed 10), but Higa birdied 13 and 15 to join them at -12 and Fujimoto maintained her 1-shot lead on them with birdies on 11 and 13.  Meanwhile, Yukari Baba made 5 birdies in an 8-hole stretch in the middle of her round to also get to -12.

But then Fujimoto and Morita separated themselves from the field.  First Baba, then Ueda bogeyed 14 to drop to -11.  Higa birdied the par-5 17th to get to -13, but bogeyed the final hole to finish the tournament at -12 after a final-round 66.  Fujimoto birdied 17 to get to -14, but Morita birdied the par-3 16th to remain only 1 shot back.  As Fujimoto was parring 18 for a 66 of her own, Morita struck with an eagle on 17 that gave her the lead.  And when she parred it, her bogey-free 31 on the back had earned her her 4th title of the season and 1st since mid-June.  And it also moved her back to the top of the JLPGA money list.

More soon!

[Update 1 (12:22 pm):  Here’s how the money list now looks:

1. Rikako Morita ¥125.32M
2. Sakura Yokomine ¥122.51M
3. Yumiko Yoshida ¥86.64M
4. Miki Saiki ¥83.10M

5. Sun-Ju Ahn ¥81.11M
6. Teresa Lu ¥80.29M
7. Mamiko Higa ¥78.11M
8. Bo-Mee Lee ¥72.84M
9. Natsuka Hori ¥64.74M

10. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥61.55M
11. Na-Ri Lee ¥58.34M
12. Yuki Ichinose ¥55.91M
13. Ritsuko Ryu ¥54.34M
14. Asako Fujimoto ¥51.22M
15. Yukari Baba ¥48.77M
16. Da-Ye Na ¥48.14M
17. Shiho Oyama ¥46.86M
18. Onnarin Sattayabanphot ¥46.28M
19. Erika Kikuchi ¥45.60M
20. Misuzu Narita ¥45.46M
21. Soo-Yun Kang ¥43.80M
22. Junko Omote ¥43.26M
23. Kumiko Kaneda ¥42.72M
24. Mayu Hattori ¥41.79M
25. Esther Lee ¥40.73M
26. Ji-Hee Lee ¥39.49M
27. Na-Ri Kim ¥39.48M
28. Hiromi Mogi ¥36.88M
29. Harukyo Nomura ¥35.97M
30. Yuri Fudoh ¥35.57M
31. Miki Sakai ¥35.36M
32. Erina Hara ¥33.59M
33. Rui Kitada ¥31.78M
34. Maiko Wakabayashi ¥31.15M
35. Kaori Ohe ¥28.24M
36. Lala Anai ¥27.89M
37. Kaori Nakamura ¥26.18M
38. Megumi Kido ¥25.58M
39. Eun-Bi Jang ¥25.27M
40. Young Kim ¥24.76M
41. Yuko Fukuda ¥24.40M
42. Ah-Reum Hwang ¥23.23M
43. Shanshan Feng ¥23.06M
44. Akane Iijima ¥22.40M
45. Phoebe Yao ¥22.09M
46. Ayaka Watanabe ¥20.75M
47. Momoko Ueda ¥19.26M
48. Kaori Aoyama ¥19.25M
49. Yuki Sakurai ¥18.94M
50. Saiki Fujita ¥17.83M
As you can see, Ueda’s winnings did count toward her season total and Fujita finished just high enough (-3, T26) today to pass Ayako Uehara and Yun-Jye Wei for the last automatic spot for 2014 membership on the JLPGA.]

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