From the first day she touched a golf club to the moment she drained her final birdie at the 2013 Mizuno Classic, I don’t know if Taiwan’s Teresa Lu has ever played a better round. I highly doubt that if she has, that it came at a more critical time. With a sensational 9 birdie, 1 bogey 8-under 64, Teresa vaulted over a number of players to claim her first LPGA, JLPGA and professional level event (Mizuno Classic is co-sponsored). The 25-year old had been a promising young player on the LPGA, but ultimately focused on the JLPGA. Given that she is still quite young and now has an automatic exemption if she wants, I wonder if we might see Teresa full time back in the United States in 2014. After her round she said she would probably be back on the LPGA next year. Life so far away from home can be tough. Part of the reason Teresa went to Japan after the 2010 LPGA season was to be closer to home. It’s not always about how much talent you have. LPGA rookie Chie Arimura is a very talented player who was a shining star previously on the JLPGA before she came to play in the States in 2013. But Chie has struggled to adjust to the loneliness of being thousands of miles from home on a foreign tour in a foreign country. The golf game for Teresa, like Chie, is there. She torched the course at the Kintetsu Kashikojima Country Club pouring in 4 straight birdies from 11 to 14 and closing with 6 birdies in her last 8 holes, including 17 and 18. When she stepped to the 11th tee, she was at 8-under and looking for a possible top 10 if she could come in without any big mistakes. By the time her final shot was completed, she would hold the trophy. Teresa is the second Taiwanese player to win the Mizuno Classic, after JLPGA legend Ai-Yu Tu. Tu was the first non-Japanese player to finish atop the year end JLPGA money list, an accomplishment she achieved 7 times, including 5 years in row from 1982 through 1986. 1986 was also the year Tu won Mizuno, which at that time was called the Mazda Japan Classic.
Other notable results to LPGA fans include Chella Choi finishing in 2nd place. She had a stellar round of her own, closing with a 6-under 66. Two LPGA Major winners, Shanshan Feng and defending Mizuno champion Stacy Lewis, were part of a three way tie with Eun-Bi Jang for 8th. In the LPGA Rookie of the Year race, Moriya Jutanugarn finished Mizuno in 30th while ROY points leader Caroline Masson finished 60th. It wasn’t enough for Moriya to catch Caroline, but she did inch ever closer, with Masson having 474 points to Jutanugarn’s 463. Both are scheduled to play the season ending CME Titleholders. But Masson is a first alternate at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational. If anybody pulls out, Caroline would be in with an opportunity to widen her lead. As a blogger, I have my favorites, but I try to root for everybody’s success. I don’t believe you have to denigrate one player to root for another. So I won’t do that. That said…ummm…you do know what my screen name is, right? So…let’s just say that bangkokbobby (that’s me!) will root for both players to play well equally…but maybe for Moriya a little more equally! LOL! 🙂
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2013 JLPGA WINNERS THOUGH MIZUNO CLASSIC (Numbers in parentheses are official JLPGA career wins)
2013 LPGA WINNERS THROUGH MIZUNO (Numbers in parentheses are official LPGA career wins)