Without the usual sprinkling of LPGAers, the 53rd edition of this event lacks spice. It runs Oct. 1-4 at The Classic Golf Club in Miyawaka. It has three nine-hole courses ... they're using the King and Queen courses, not the Prince course. It's a field of 120 with a cut of top-60 plus ties.
Phooey, I just realized that The Superstar is not playing this week ... not here and not on the scrub tour this week. I assume she'll be back on Japan's big tour next week ... that field is not final yet.
Another Korean has returned this week, Ah Reum Hwang, who opened with pars on #10 and 11.
It's not over yet, but it could have been. Beginning her day early at #10, Koiwai tore up the place until she four-putted the par-3 7th green. Her highlights and interview start at 33:27 below: Never mind, the police already took it down.
Ah Reum Hwang (+2)
Na Ri Lee ... although she is a past winner, I expected this. She raced to the top of the mountain without oxygen, looked down on everyone, got dizzy and nauseous, and fell off a ledge like Lazerus in 'Star Trek TOS'.
Mi Jeong Jeon (MC)
Driver off the deck! Minami Katsu (+1)
Aoki (+2), Rei Matsuda (+3), and Mika Miyazato (MC)
Erika Hara ... if mag covers were birdies, she'd be on Easy Street.
I watched Sakura Koiwai group for about an hour and a half. I did recognize her Yuko Saso and Ayaka Furue. Otherwise I would not have watched them, no English subtitles.
Certainly, you don't need subtitles to identify Queen Shiho, right? I saw her in the U.S. two or three times in person. She might be on the broadcasts later as she is -4 on her first 11 holes Saturday, -1 overall. Likewise, I don't think you'll need help spotting Ji Hee Lee, who is -2 on her first seven holes, -1 overall. Forty-one career wins between them ... not bad when their combined age is about 206.
Ok, I saw Shiho tee off on the first hole, minus five today. First noticed her at the Queens, although I had seen her before . Didn't get to see her play because Jiyai had eliminated her before the Broad Cast started. Just saw Jiyai hit it stiff on the first hole. My lucky day Au-Reum Hwang just teed off on one tee.
I watched four YouTube videos early this AM to cover the 4th round ... which was pointless, I should have watched the 3rd round when it was all decided. Btw, I think I spotted the fickle super looper Mr. Shimuzu, who has moved on to pushing Mone Inami's bag.
Sakura Koiwai has settled into a consistent groove this year, which includes one win, two seconds and one 6th ... 3rd on the money list. I don't know if they plan to give out the usual awards at the end of 2020 or merge this year's accomplishments into 2021.
Kana Nagai (+4)
The low am was Akie Iwai (-2)
JY Shin (+2)
Old-timer Yukari Nishiyama (+9) made no money on the big tour in 2020 until this week. Chie Arimura (+1) is immune to torture.
Hina Arakaki (+4) ... "if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere". She's with Maria Shinohara (-2)