Saso falls behind by 5
Yuka Saso
Saso falls behind by 5
Dante Navarro (The Philippine Star) - October 18, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Yuka Saso reeled from a late meltdown that all but ruined her drive for a third Japan LPGA championship, falling five strokes off new leader Saki Asai with a two-over 74 in the second round of the Fujitsu Ladies 2020 in Chiba Prefecture yesterday.

Consistency proved to be Saso’s dilemma on a rainy day that practically negated her slight advantage in length as the Tokyu Seven Hundred Club course played longer than its 6,659-yardage with its softened fairways and greenskeepers applying rollers to dry up wet spots in a number of surfaces.

Still, the Fil-Japanese, who went into some kind of a slump after sweeping the NEC Karuizawa and Nitori Ladies crowns last August, found a way to go under early, birdying Nos. 4 and 5, only to yield the strokes with bogeys on the next two for an opening 36.

Though she remained at joint seventh with six others, including rival Sakura Koiwai, at even 144, the ICTSI-backed Saso, just two down at the start of the round, fell five shots behind a surging Asai, who sizzled in wet conditions with a five-under 67 to jump from a share of 25th to the solo lead at 139.

Asai stood a stroke ahead of Korean Shin Jie, who turned in a second 140 to stalk the new leader, who lost in a three-way playoff in last week’s Stanley Ladies, heading to the last 18 holes of the Y100 million event.

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