MANILA, Philippines — Struggling a bit as of late, Yuka Saso hopes to regain top form as she takes another shot at breaching the Y100-million mark in Japan LPGA money earnings in the No Mado Ladies Open which unfurls today in Fukuoka.
Saso opens her bid for the Y21.6 million top prize in the Y120-million event in what could well be a shootout in her 10:20 a.m. flight with Japanese aces Ayaka Furue and Erika Hara.
Missing the cut in the Daikin Orchid then finishing outside the Top 10 in the next three legs, Saso has dropped to No. 4 in the Mercedes Ranking, overtaken by Sakura Koiwai, Inami Mone and Furue.
She has also dropped to No. 4 in earnings (Y96,319,170), aching to regain form and confidence while also looking forward to a glorious moment in the Olympics set in Kasumigaseki Country Club in Aug. 4-7.
In Fukuoka, she’s eyeing a solid stint to finally hit the Y100-million mark in the rich Japan tour.
Saso had an opportunity to accomplish the feat in the World Ladies Championship Salonpas Cup in Ibaraki Prefecture last week but wound up 18th for Y948,000.
Japan’s Yuna Nishimura ruled the tournament with a scintillating 14-under 274, 11 shots ahead of Saso.
Chasing back-to-back championships, Nishimura starts her drive in a flight with Momoko Euda and Arakaki Hina, ahead of the explosive threesome among Koiwai, Suzuki Ai and Minami Katsu.