Lately it seems the world of women’s golf has been taken over by Generation Next. From Lydia Ko to Lexi Thompson to Ariya Jutanugarn to Hyo-Joo Kim, the word phenom is getting so ubiquitously applied to young player after young player that it’s starting to lose its distinction. Even players who have multiple years and multiple trophies under their belt are still saplings; Yani Tseng is only 24, Paula Creamer is 26, Ai Miyazato and Sakura Yokomine are both 27. Those players seem AARP-eligible compared to the wave of strong players inundating tours around the world. With this in mind, kudos and congratulations to Hiromi Mogi, who captured the 1st JLPGA Major of her career, the 2013 World Ladies Championship Salonpas Cup. The 36-year old veteran waded through a leaderboard festooned with young guns like Ko, So Yeon Ryu and Rikako Morita to fire a 5 birdie 1 bogey (on the final hole) 4-under final round to finish at 9-under overall and 2 shots clear of her nearest competitor. It is the 6th JLPGA title of her career and her first victory since the 2011 Yonex Ladies Golf Tournament.
Other player results include overnight leader Rikako Morita falling backwards with a 1-over final round which dropped her into solo 3rd at 6-under overall. I thought So Yeon Ryu had this tournament in her crosshairs when she went 2-under through the first 5 holes to get to 7-under. However, after a bogey and another birdy had her hanging on to that score at the turn she double bogeyed 10, seemingly losing her mojo for the rest of the day, managing only par for each remaining hole. The aforementioned Lydia Ko continues to be the It Girl amateur , concluding her visit to Japan with a 4th place tie at 5-under, punctuated with a 4-under final round. Dual LPGA and JLPGA Major winner Morgan Pressel, champion at the Salonpas Cup in 2010, bounced back from a shaky 3rd round to go 2-under in the closing round, finishing at even par for the tournament and tied for 16th. Miki Saiki, looking for her 3rd win of the JLPGA season fell just short in 2nd place at 7-under.
SO YEON RYU
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