I was knocked out by the time Akane IIjima and Mi Jeong Jeon played the par-5 18th hole for the 6th time in a playoff. I remember Akane having the better shot into the green and that was it. I now know she made birdie and won. Jeon usually had less club for the third shot, but couldn't close the deal...and 24 months since her last win. I don't remember seeing this before: they changed the hole location frequently during the playoff.
Akane Iijima earned her 7th JLPGA career victory, and first in nearly 5 years since the 2010 Golf 5 Ladies, the hard way. Standing on the 14th tee in round 3 (the final round in this event) she sat at even par at the 2015 T-Point Ladies Golf Tournament after a double bogey on 13. That would be top 10 worthy, but not enough for the trophy. It certainly would have been a letdown after starting the day at 3-under and tied for 2nd place overnight. But Akane turned her round around with 3 birdies in the last 5 holes to get back to even par for the round and 3-under for the event. However, 3-under was only good enough to send Iijima into a sudden-death playoff against Mi-Jeong Jeon. Despite being in a title drought since her win at the 2013 Yokohama Tire Golf Tournament PRGR Ladies Cup, MJJ is one of the greatest players in JLPGA history, holding 22 victories. Not only would it be a playoff for the ages, it darn near lasted ages. 1 hour and 47 minutes later, on the 6th playoff hole, Akane Iijima would finally sink a birdie to triumph. With the win, Akane walks away with ¥12,600,000 (about 105K USD). Akane was 9th on the year-end money list back in 2010 when she won her last event. The past few years have been a bit of a letdown, finishing outside the top 40. I suspect with this win, she’ll be closer to the top 10 when all is said and done in 2015. One note before I get to the pictures. It’s Akane’s day to celebrate, but I can’t help but feel for Thailand’s Onnarin Sattayabanphot. She had an overnight lead of 3 shots at 6-under. It’s one thing to not finish a possible victory, but Moo (her nickname) imploded with an 81, dropping from 1st to tied for 18th. She has talked about a lack of confidence before, so I hope she takes away how well she played through the first two rounds, that she’s right in the mix of great players on the JLPGA and has won on tour. I have no doubt the former Purdue Lady Boilermaker will be a winner again in Japan.
A better finish for Ha Neul than I was expecting, tied for 18th. She shot a 70 in round three that was mainly responsible for a rally from a terrible first two rounds. Shin also finished 18th, while Bo Mee was t-12th. So, not a great week for any of them, but nothing too bad, either.
My ADHD was in full force last night....I was watching the replay of the API, surfing the net...so I didn't give my full atttention to the JLPGA live steam. I thought there was something unusual about the playoff...thanks for the info on different pin placements.
I'm a women's golf junkie.....but I do find it hard to watch the JLPGA & KLPGA due to an absence of English and unfamiliar faces.
I was rooting for Momoko. But as Johnny Miller often says.....the classic pro miss on an important short putt when it counts in the final holes is a miss right and sure enough....Momoko misses a 4 foot putt to the right on 18 for birdie that would have sent her into the playoff.
There's a really funny guy from the UK from http://www.mylpga.com....he luvs Momoko....he calls her...The Divine One.....he drools over the Japanese pro but is only indifferent for the Korean pros. In 2010...wasn't Terry McNamara (Annika's past loop) on Momoko's bag?....I saw him in Portland....I don't think it was Inky's bag....I can't remember.
What's up with all these blazers for the winners on the JLPGA & KLPGA?