Rikako Morita wins Daikin-Orchid in playoff

Rikako Morita is the winner of 2013 Daikin Orchid Ladies Golf Tournament

Fifty-four holes of golf wasn’t enough to settle the Daikin Orchid Ladies Golf Tournament, as Rikako Morita outlasted Sakura Yokomine in a pitched playoff battle.

Yokomine started the final round in third place, rolling off four birdies in the first five holes, then challenging Morita on the back nine holes at Ryukyu Golf Club.  The two finished the regular competition tied at 13 under, after Yokomine shot par on the 18th and Morita got tangled with a bunker on the hole to even things.

It only took one hole for Morita to snatch the  victory away; a 12-foot birdie putt rolled in to give her a third Japan Ladies Professional Golf Association win.  This is Morita’s fifth year on the JLPGA circuit.

Tied for third at -10 were Onnarin Sattayabaonbhot of Thailand, Ritsuko Ryu, Junko Omote, Ai Kobo and Soo-Yun Kang.  Okinawa’s Mika Miyasato ended up with a eight under par, good enough to finish in 12th place and hold on to her #10 world ranking.  Miyasato shot a bogey-free 68 on the final day.  Shinobu Moromisato finally finished with a -1 for the three days, putting her in 46th place.

Last year’s winner, Airi Saiki, didn’t make the cut after finishing an even par after two rounds.  The best amateur finish was Hina Arakaki, who scored -5 total.  The Daikin Orchid total purse was ¥80 million with the winner taking home ¥14.4 million. The 50th place earned ¥320,000.