Monday, October 25, 2010
Enter the other Mika
By Jugjet Singh
JAPANESE Mika Miyazato (pic) and Korean Lee Jee Young shared the leaderboard in the rain-interrupted first round of the Sime Darby Malaysia LPGA on five-under 66 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club yesterday.
The course plays to par-71, and there was a three-hour delay but all the flights landed safely.
Hot on their heels is lone ranger Han Hee-won from South Korea on four-under 67.
A group of four are a further stroke behind on three-under 68. Michelle Wie from the United States, Alena Sharp from Canada, Maria Hjorth from Sweden and Ahn Shi Hyun from South Korea.
Miyazato is a dynamite 5' 2'' petite lass who jumped 25 rungs on the Rolex Rankings in the last two weeks.
The second year pro from Japan claimed her first professional victory at the Japan Women's Open on the JLPGA after she closed with a final-round 68 to finish six strokes ahead of Miki Saiki.
The win improved Miyazato's position on the Rolex Rankings a dramatic 15 places to No 24.
"I am feeling very good and everything went right for me. The three hour wait (rain interrupted play) was a bit boring, but I kept my mind blank and re-started with a birdie," said Miyazato.
She started on the 10th with a birdie, and went on to collect four more on the 12th, 17th, 18th and eighth in her bogey free round.
Joint leader Lee Jee Young from South Korea constantly had a girlish grin on her face and looked like she had just enjoyed every hole.
She also started on the 10th with a birdie and hit six more on the 13th, 15th, third, fifth, seventh and first. Her flaws were on the 12th and second.
Come on ask me questions, prompted a jovial Jee Young: "This is what I was looking for and after I started with a birdie, the going became a little easier and I am very happy with my score today."
The Korean turned pro four years ago and has enjoyed six top-10 finishes with an earning of US511,599.
"I am a little relieved to lead after the first round, because many ladies in the field are really good players and that makes it especially sweet."