The 2016 TOTO Japan Classic of the US LPGA tour tournament was held from November 4 to 6, at the Taiheiyo Club Minori Course in Ibaraki. In Japan LPGA Tour, the top 35 players of the prize money ranking took part in the tournament. 43 players of the US LPGA Tour took part in the tournament in this year. And 3 Japanese US LPGA Tour players of Ai Miyazato, Mika Miyazato and Harukyo（Haru）Nomura also participated in the tournament. There are no players that fail to make the cut.
In the first round, Soo-Yun Kang and Ariya Jutanugarn shot a 66 and took the first place. Kang is Korean and played in the Japan LPGA Tour, she is the 26th place of the prize money ranking. Jutanugarn played in the US LPGA Tour and she is the 2nd place of the prize money ranking. Ai Miyazato and Mika Miyazato shot a 74 and took 57th place, so they got a late start.
In thr second round, Shanshan Feng took the first place. She shot a 64 and her total score was 11 under. Jutanugarn shot a 68 and she took the 2nd place with 1 stroke behind Feng. Kang and Suzann Pettersen took the 3rd place and their total score were 9 under with 2 strokes behind the first place. The highest place of the Japanese player was Kotone Hori, she took the 12th place and her total score was 6 under. Hori took the 4th place in the last week’s tournament so she has maintained a good condition.
Shanshan Feng raised scores even in the final round. She shot a 70 and her total score was 13 under. So she won the 2016 TOTO Japan Classic. Ha Na Jang shot a 68 and her total score was 12 under, so she took the 2nd place with 2 strokes behind Feng. Hori’s total score was 10 under and she took the 3rd place, she was the highest place of the Japanese players. Ai Miyazato took the 58th place and her total score was 1 over par. And Mika Miyazato took the 68th place and her total score was 4 over par.
Shanshan Feng ‘s biography is that she’s the age of 27 and she was born at China. She began playing golf from 10 years old and became a professional golfer in 2007. She won 5 times in the LPGA of Japan Tour from 2011 to 2012. She got the 2012 LPGA Championship and won 6 times in the LPGA tour until now. Other, she won 6 times in the Ladies European Tour. Then she was selected to the members of the china national women’s Olympic Golf team and got the bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympic games.
In Japanese players, only Momoko Ueda had won this tournament in the past 10 years. Why couldn’t the Japanese players win this tournament? First of all, the course of this tournament is long, and the ball did not fly because it was the cold season. So the Japanese players are not out distance and they didn’t raised scores. Second of all, in particular this year, it is one of the reasons that the course has changed. The TOTO Japan Classic has been held in the Kashikojima Country Club in Shima until 2015, but the course was far from the international airport of Japan. So the top players of the US LPGA Tour did not participate. But the course to be held has changed in 2016 and it was near from the biggest international airport in Japan, the Tokyo Narita Airport. So the US LPGA players were more likely to participate from the United States of America, the most of the top players took part in the tournament.
In this way, the chances of Japanese players was less. But some Japanese players were active in the US LPGA Tour after winning this tournament, Hisako Higuchi, Hiromi Kobayashi and Mayumi Hirase. Momoko Ueda won this tournament in 2007 and got the prize money queen. After that, she played in the US LPGA Tour and won this tournament again in 2011. In other words, the TOTO Japan Classic is the touchstone of the Japanese player’s ability.
This youtube’s video is the discussion between Ai Miyazato, Momoko Ueda, and Mika Miyazato in 2011. Who is the japanese player to active in the US LPGA tour like them?