Saso, Ueda duel up in Tokai Classic
Yuka Saso
Saso, Ueda duel up in Tokai Classic
Dante Navarro ( - September 16, 2020 - 5:23pm

MANILA, Philippines – While Saki Nagamine and Sakura Koiwai, two of the hottest locals on the LPGA of Japan Tour, will surely get the top draw, the Yuka Saso-Momoko Ueda duel is expected to generate interest when the Descente Ladies Tokai Classic fires off Friday in Aichi.

The Player of the Year frontrunner and the veteran LPGA Tour veteran are booked for an early face-off in the 54-hole championship at 8:45 a.m. on No. 1 of the Shinminami Aichi Country Club’s Mihama course with both aces seeking to atone for mediocre finishes in the circuit’s first major — the Japan LPGA Championship last week.

Yuka Yasuda is the third player in the featured group.

Saso, also the current money race leader, suffered a final round meltdown and ended up at joint 13th after staying just two strokes of the leaders in the first three days while Ueda struggled coming off a long rest due to health restrictions, finishing at joint 44th.

The 34-year-old Ueda, who became the youngest player at 21 in JLGPA history to finish on top of the money list in 2007, was forced to go into quarantine after placing sixth in the British Women’s Open in Scotland and groped for form all week at the JFE Setonaikai course in Okayama.

But they are tipped to lead the chase for the top Y14.4 million purse out of the total prize fund of Y80 million, along with Nagamine, who nailed her first win in the Japan LPGA Championship, and Koiwai, winner of the Golf5 Ladies who also moved to No. 2 in the Player of the Year derby.

Also due for a big rebound is former No. 2 Ayaka Watanabe, winner of the Earth Mondahmin Cup last June and 16-time JLPGA winner Ai Suzuki, who both missed the cut last week.

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