(NAGOYA, JAPAN – Sunday 6th December, 2015)
The LPGA of Japan emerged earned an historic home victory after a nail-biting final singles session at The Queens presented by Kowa. The home team led the LPGA of Korea overnight 22 points to 14, and the KLPGA players pushed them all the way winning 8 of their 9 singles matches, in the end falling just three points short of victory.
Elated Japanese captain, Momoko Ueda said “I’m relieved and delighted at the same time. We worked superbly as a team, and our team spirit was definitely the key in the decisive moments,” said the. “It turned out to be a tight contest in the end, but the players’ performances were superb throughout. It was a special experience and an honour to play alongside such wonderful players and I’m sure that this victory will mean a lot to everyone playing on the JLPGA Tour.”
The LPGA of Japan team won six and halved one of their nine singles matches, earning 19 points in bitterly cold conditions on Sunday. In the opening singles match Japan’s Misuzu Narita set the tone for the day when she upset Solheim Cup star Catriona Matthew, emerging victorious on the 13th green by a margin of 5/4.
While the Japanese and Korean LPGA Tours battled all day for the Queens Cup, the ALPG team were also in a battle their own with the Ladies European Team for 3rd place.
Whitney Hillier led the ALPG team out after 2 days in the company of ALPG captain Rachel Hetherington, and played some top class golf before eventually losing her match 1 up on the last to world number 25 Jin Young Ko. Hillier had led by 2 holes with 5 to play but the 2015 Ricoh Women’s British Women’s Open runner up birdied the 15th, 16th and 18th to edge out the young West Australian ensuring that the result of the tournament would remain in the balance for much of the afternoon.
In the 2nd ALPG match Sarah Kemp took on ALPG honorary member Dame Laura Davies and eventually lost the match 2/1 after being 4 down with 4 holes to play.
In matches 3 and 4, neither Lindsey Wright nor Steph Na could peg back early deficits, while n match 5 Sarah Jane Smith dominated her match against up and coming Danish star Emily Pedersen winning 5/4. In matches 6 and 7, Katherine Kirk and Nikki Campbell both struggled against some top class golf by their Japanese opponents, while in match 8 Nikki Garrett rued a missed a short putt on the 9th which would have seen her take a 1 up lead into the back 9 against the world number 31 Jung Min Lee. Lee went on to win the 10th 11th and 12th holes and closed the match on the 16th green 3/2.
The final ALPG member on the course was ALPG captain Rachel Hetherington, who rolled back the clock with some superb golf in defeating reigning Oates Victorian Open Champion Marianne Skarpnord by a margin of 2/1.
Hetherington said at the completion of the matches “I am so proud of all of the girls this week, we fought so hard in every match and that is all you can ask for. The quality of play from our opponents this week was exceptional and this has been a great experience for all of us. We will really look forward to coming back in 2016”
Sunday Singles Results:
Match 1 Misuzu Narita (JLPGA) beat Catriona Matthew (LET) 6&5
Match 2 Jin Young Ko (KLPGA) beat Whitney Hillier (ALPG) 1 up
Match 3 Laura Davies (LET) beat Sarah Kemp (ALPG) 2&1
Match 4 Min Sun Kim (KLPGA) beat Shiho Oyama (JLPGA) 3&2
Match 5 Akane Iijima (JLPGA) beat Lindsey Wright (ALPG) 4&2
Match 6 Sei Young Kim (KLPGA) beat Melissa Reid (LET) 5&4
Match 7 Seon Woo Bae (KLPGA) beat Stephanie Na (ALPG) 5&4
Match 8 Erika Kikuchi (JLPGA) beat Gwladys Nocera (LET) 4&3
Match 9 Sarah Jane Smith (ALPG) beat Emily Kristine Pedersen (LET) 5&4
Match 10 Ayaka Watanabe (JLPGA) beat Yoon Ji Cho (KLPGA) 1 up
Match 11 Bo-Mee Lee (KLPGA) beat Hannah Burke (LET) 3&2
Match 12 Ritsuko Ryu (JLPGA) beat Katherine Kirk (ALPG) 5&4
Match 13 In Gee Chun (KLPGA) beat Nanna Koerstz Madsen (LET) 6&4
Match 14 Miki Sakai (JLPGA) beat Nikki Campbell (ALPG) 7&6
Match 15 Karine Icher (LET) halved with Erina Hara (JLPGA)
Match 16 Jung Min Lee (KLPGA) beat Nikki Garrett (ALPG) 4&3
Match 17 Rachel Hetherington (ALPG) beat Marianne Skarpnord (LET) 2&1
Match 18 Sung Hyun Park (KLPGA) beat Momoko Ueda (JLPGA) 5&4
LPGA of Japan 41
Korean LPGA Tour 38
Ladies European Tour 12
Australian Ladies Professional Golf 7