Yuka Saso and Australia’s Minji Lee registered a strong 4-under 66 to go up 16 places for a share of 7th place after the penultimate round of the 2021 LPGA Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational at the Midland Country Club in Michigan on Saturday (Manila time).
The tournament is a team competition format where the first and third rounds are played in fours (alternate shots), while the second and fourth rounds are played in fourballs (best score).
Saso and Lee had a rough first round but bounced back in this round of foursomes with a strong start of four birdies on the front nine.
The Filipino-Aussie pair took down holes the first odd-numbered holes of this side of the course with one less stroke to go to double digits in red (10-under) heading into the clubhouse.
A bogey on their first hole of the backside would not hamper their day as they eventually cancelled it with a three-shot take of the par-4 No.14.
Bianca Pagdanganan and her partner Sarah Schmelzel of USA stayed in a tie at the same seventh-place spot with a 1-under for the day.
After a rousing second round of 8-under, mostly due to the Filipino’s score, the Filipino-American duo tried to push forward in this round. Nonetheless, they had to scour for birdies all day long.
Pagdanganan and Schmelzel’s birdie on No. 14 proved to be the difference as they carved twin birdie-bogey combinations on Nos. 3-4 and 10-11.
Dottie Ardina completed the Filipino contingent in the tournament, as she and partner in South African Paula Reto ended with a 1-under for the round as well to go up 5-under and in a share of 30th place overall.
It was a strong start for Ardina-Reto after they scored three birdies on the front side, but struggled with three bogeys at the back nine.
Nonetheless, a birdie in No. 14 as well stood for the final score after 54 holes.
Defending champions USA’s Cydney Clanton and Thailand’s Jasmine Suwannapura finished with yet another 5-under and 15-under overall to snag the lead over Thai sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn.
Another Thai in Pajaree Anannarukarn and Indian Aditi Ashok shared the pole position with Clanton-Suwannapura after a 3-under for the round.
Saso, Pagdanganan, and Ardina, and their respective partners, will try to close out the tournament strong as the fourth and final round is set on Saturday.