Ricoh Cup Sunday: Shiho Oyama Breaks Victory #13 Jinx!


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JLPGA victory #13 was a long time coming for Shiho Oyama, but she made her luck in today’s final round of the tour’s final major, the Ricoh Cup.

Oyama started the day 1 behind 3rd-round co-leaders Bo-Mee Lee and Teresa Lu and fell 2 behind Lu when she bogeyed the par-4 4th, but from them on the day was hers.  She birdied the 360-yard par-4 6th, the 397-yard par-4 7th, and the 185-yard par-3 8th before eagling the 490-yard par-5 9th.  By the time she birdied the 500-yard par-5 11th and 495-yard par-5 13th, Oyama had extended her lead on Lu to 4 shots, on Sun-Ju Ahn to 5 shots, and on Lee to 8 shots.  After 1 more birdie and a walkoff bogey, Oyama finished the day with a 66 and the week at -9.  Lu and Ahn ended up with 71s to finish at -5 and -4, respectively, while Lee’s birdieless 75 dropped her back to -1 and a solo 4th.

Oyama’s victory was her 1st since 2011, her 2nd at this major, and her 3rd JLPGA major in all.  Her 25 million yen paycheck bumped her into the top 10 of the JLPGA money list for the 1st time since 2008.  What a great day and great week for the JLPGA star and ex-LPGAer who’s been dealing with a boatload of injuries since 2009!

But Oyama’s long-awaited victory was not the only story of the day.  What about Ji-Yai Shin and Sakura Yokomine, who needed big Sunday charges to meet their goals for 2013?  Shin’s Sunday charge consisted of a 4-birdie 70 that got her back to +1 for the week and into T5 with Na-Ri Lee.  Most important, it moved her up to #47 on the tour’s 2013 money list, securing her membership for next season on both the LPGA and JLPGA for the 6th consecutive year.  Yokomine’s charge consisted of a 5-birdie 70 which moved her to +3 and T7 for the week, 1 shot ahead of money-list leader Rikako Morita, who limped home with a 73 to drop to T12.  But Yokomine couldn’t pass Morita on the money list in the end.

So although the JLPGA’s veteran stars (Yokomine, Miki Saiki, Mi-Jeong Jeon) and South Korean standouts (Ahn, Bo-Mee Lee, Jeon, Na-Ri Lee) had very good years, the biggest story of 2013 on tour was the emergence of a new breed of Japanese young guns (led by Morita, but also including Yumiko Yoshida, Mamiko Higa, Natsuka Hori, Yuki Ichinose, Ritsuko Ryu, Asako Fujimoto, and Erika Kikuchi just to name a few).  And let’s not forget Teresa Lu–who broke through for her 1st major professional victory in her 8th year as a pro and 4th on the JLPGA–and did it at the Mizuno Cup so, like Shin, Momoko Ueda, and Shanshan Feng, will be a dual LPGA-JLPGA member in 2014.

Here’s how the 2013 money list ended up:

1. Rikako Morita ¥126.68M
2. Sakura Yokomine ¥125.37M

3. Teresa Lu ¥94.79M
4. Sun-Ju Ahn ¥91.11M
5. Yumiko Yoshida ¥89.51M
6. Miki Saiki ¥83.95M

7. Bo-Mee Lee ¥80.84M
8. Mamiko Higa ¥78.66M

9. Shiho Oyama ¥71.86M
10. Natsuka Hori ¥65.17M

11. Na-Ri Lee ¥64.48M

12. Mi-Jeong Jeon ¥62.40M
13. Yuki Ichinose ¥56.55M
14. Ritsuko Ryu ¥54.81M
15. Asako Fujimoto ¥52.07M
16. Yukari Baba ¥51.63M
17. Da-Ye Na ¥48.61M
18. Onnarin Sattayabanphot ¥47.44M
19. Junko Omote ¥46.12M
20. Erika Kikuchi ¥46.10M
21. Misuzu Narita ¥45.96M
22. Soo-Yun Kang ¥44.27M
23. Esther Lee ¥43.59M
24. Kumiko Kaneda ¥43.22M
25. Mayu Hattori ¥42.22M
26. Na-Ri Kim ¥39.94M
27. Ji-Hee Lee ¥39.49M
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. Ji-Yai Shin ¥20.45M
48. Momoko Ueda ¥19.26M
49. Kaori Aoyama ¥19.25M
50. Yuki Sakurai ¥18.94M
So there you have it.  The 2013 JLPGA season is over except for its final stage of Q-School next week.  Check back here then to see if Ayako Uehara decides to enter it (she ended up #53 on the list) and how those who just qualified for it (including familiar names [to JLPGA otaku at least] like Aoi Nagata, Rui Yokomine, Porani Chutichai, Jessica Speechley, Satsuki Oshiro, Yayoi Arasaki, Yui Mukaiyama, Shiho Toyonaga, and Miho Mori, but not Mie Nakata, Sakurako Mori, Kuniko Maeda, Orie Fujino, Mika Takushima, Maria Iida, or Mina Zhongshan, who didn’t make the cut in their district finals) and those who just missed the top 50 do.

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