Min Young Lee will defend her title starting Friday, Sept. 4, and they will have lots of free YouTube coverage showing range work, practice rounds, equipment trials and interviews starting on Wednesday ... go to this video collection:
I just tuned in to the first free driving range stream of Wednesday, Japan time ... started about 45 minutes ago. They were focused on a Mizuno and Srixon player - have no idea who they were. Then those two were dropped (for good reason) when Miyuki Takeuchi showed up. Now we got a close up of Sayaka Takahashi dropping by, followed by Hana Wakimoto.
Golf 5 is the big gear chain in Japan, so at some point we'll see a lot of exotic toys on display (I hope). However, I don't think a Ping G425 driver is that exotic ... Momo Yoshikawa has one on the range.
UPDATE: They just did a one-minute intro of Yoshikawa holding that driver ... definite cover girl material if she ever gets really good on this tour. Uh oh, they put a tracer on one of her drives and it hooked left. The next drive was better, but the camera angle is not directly behind her ... makes the ball look like it's going left. They're asking her questions after every couple of drives.
On Thursday, they had extensive coverage of Lala Anai and another player ... logical since they wear Kissmark, a Golf 5 house brand. They also had Rei Matsuda testing out Bridgestone's Tour B X driver and Ayaka Matsumori & Saki Nagamine testing out TaylorMade's SIM Gloire driver. I skimmed through all the videos and pics ... nothing with The Leader of The Pack.
Rei Matsuda and Min Young Lee
Yuka Yasuda and Ji Hee Lee
The Saso Lasso has this tour roped and hog-tied ... but maybe not this week. Wednesday's video shows her fighting her driver on the range and there's this Google mush quote:
Sasao went through 18 holes for two consecutive days. The course of the first challenge, and the large height difference and tight layout are completely different from the course of the winning tournament such as NEC Karuizawa 72 and Nitori Ladies. "I honestly don't really like it. I'm tired, and it's a difficult course overseas. There are many holes where you can't see the green from the tee ground," he smiled.
The free stream has been running since 6 PM EST ... showing only the range and the bunker next to it. They had a couple of quick words with the KissMark and Kolwin (Golf 5 brands) "hostess pros." The Superstar doesn't tee off until 10:05 AM ... it'll be pure luck if she's on camera later ... just have to keep my eye out for all the Callaway bags. They're now showing one of my faves hitting drivers, Kana Nagai ... right behind her is Ji Hee Lee and her Onoff bag.
Aoi Ohnishi and Ritsuko Ryu went out in the first threesome at #1. I don't know if this stream plans to show any actual golf from Round One.
Not many players on the range now ... Sakura Koiwai is there and tees off 15 minutes after Solar ... I'll have to watch replay later to see if I missed The Superstar.
I noticed Love 'em and Leave 'em Mr. Shimuzu is on Chie Arimura's bag this week.
I started Google mushing the chat comments on the YT feed ... when Ayaka Matsumori did her brief interview:
Yutaka Sakurai Matsumori-san I like rice balls for breakfast
ken cute masay1919 Matsumori is elegant Uncle Mowing Ayaka Chan is cute
Just had an interview with Na Ri Lee ... the YT commenters are impressed by her Japanese.
The online scoreboard is slightly flawed this week: the Japanese/English button is missing. I still have Google mush, but it's an inconvenience. Momo Yoshikawa is alone at the top at -4 thru five holes. One of the YouTube commenters said she has a sister who try to turn pro.
I was looking pretty closely and didn't see the Leader of the Pack on either the driving range or practice green. Maybe she's a disciple of Laura Davies and doesn't believe in practicing.
I'm thinking there must be a contractual reason that she's playing the JLPGA, rather than continuing on the Dream Tour to qualify for her KLPGA card. Her sponsor, Talking Tom, likely stipulated that she play the JLPGA rather than a minor league tour that wouldn't hype their product. So she had no choice.
Why doesn't the JLPGA show English names on the Course. I know a few of the players but not enough if they aren't shown. I can follow them more on the last round, by their position on the Leaderboard. Sometimes the Caddie has their name on his back. They have a lot of Tech people there, so shown their name in English is easy for them.
Okay, I spotted The Leader of The Pack in the video below. She's in the center of the range (teal top, white pants) ready to start her warm-up at 1:53:45. They cut away to other people, but we see her again at 2:02:05, 2:05:15 and 2:07:00
Forget about seeing The Superstar tee off at #1 ... couldn't find a rogue feed for the 1st hole. Of course, she bogeyed that hole. Well, maybe they'll catch her for an interview after she finishes. The practice range feed is working perfectly ... currently showing Rie Tsuji.