Saso upends Furue but Hara wrests control
Yuka Saso

Saso upends Furue but Hara wrests control

Dante Navarro (The Philippine Star) - November 27, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Yuka Saso toughened up at the back then pounced on Ayaka Furue’s late meltdown to gain in their hyped up duel with a 70 but Erika Hara took the spotlight with an eagle-spiked 67 in the opener of the JLPGA Tour Championship Ricoh Cup in Miyazaki Prefecture yesterday.

Winner of the Japan Women’s Open last month in Fukuoka, Hara flaunted her flair for the majors, unleashing a strong start and a stronger finish, with her eagle on the par-5 No. 2 and three birdies in the last six holes spiking a 34-33 card at the Miyazaki Country Club and netting her a one-stroke lead over Hinako Shibuno in the Y120 million event.

Her stirring 22-putt performance likewise proved to be the best in a day where pins were strategically placed to draw the elite cast into attacking the well-kept but unpredictable greens.

Most did and were rewarded with birdies that came in aplenty while others struggled setting up scoring opportunities, including Saso, who failed to get going with a two-birdie, two-bogey round at the front.

Furue likewise settled for a 36, her birdie on No. 6 negating a bogey on the third as the fancied pair tried to unnerve each other in a grudge match set up by the former’s imposing final round romp over the Fil-Japanese in last week’s Daio Paper Elleair Ladies Open.

Shibuno also laced her 68 with an eagle on No. 9 as the long hitters took advantage of a couple of reachable par-5s although the world No. 15 missed joining Hara on top with a bogey on the 17th.

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