Having nerves trying to secure a first win is understandable, and in the final round of the 2012 Daikin Orchid Ladies Airi Saito nearly gave the tournament away. The overnight leader and tour rookie started her final round with a double bogey. She would right the ship with birdies on 3 and 7 to make the turn at even par for the round. Subsequent birdies on 11 (which she birdied all three rounds) and 13 seemed to pave the way to her first win. But then came near-disaster with bogies on 17 and 18 and a three-woman playoff with Yuko Mitsuka and 15-time JLPGA winner Ji-Hee Lee of South Korea. Was it to be a collapse and loss to a tour veteran similar to what happened to Jenny Shin at the 2012 HSBC Women’s Champions last week? Not on this day. Airi regrouped to birdie the first playoff hole. Yuko Mitsuka did the same. Ji-Hee Lee could not manage a birdie and was eliminated. On the second playoff hole, Airi just missed a birdie opportunity but tapped an easy par in. When Yuko lipped out a par putt try, the 22-year old Saito became the first winner of the 2012 JLPGA season. By the way, for continuity with a previous post, I spelled Airi’s last name as Saito instead of Saitoh. It gets spelled both ways, but it seems more are favoring the Saitoh spelling so for future posts I might switch the spelling.