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Yuka Saso (LPGT/ Jed Jacobsohn - Getty Images)

Golf

Yuka Saso sets scoring record to take solo lead in Lotte Championship

Yuka Magic is in full swing in Hawaii.

The 19-year-old top golfer registered yet another 8-under 64 in Round 2 of the 2021 Lotte Championship and took a two-shot lead heading into the final two rounds, Friday (Manila time) at the Ko Olina Golf Club in Kapolei, Hawaii.

The 16-under 128 after two rounds is now the scoring record in the history of the championships after 36 holes as Saso stayed ahead of New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, who was fantastic in her stint at 9-under 63 in the day for 14-under 130.

After two birdies brought the 2018 Asian Games champion to 10-under, she needed an extra hit to tackle No. 4. Nonetheless, just like in the first round, Saso got three straight birdies at the last three holes going into the turn.

Saso then got another birdie at the start of the backside to bag the share of the lead with Ko. The world No. 43 then uncorked two more birdies in Nos. 16 and 17, with the first one a well-hit long putt grazing the hole.

The Filipino-Japanese could have gotten a closing birdie yet again, but missed another putt and had to settle for an even-par at the 18th. However, she pocketed not just the scoring record but also the tournament lead.

Fellow Filipino golfers Bianca Pagdanganan and Dottie Ardina closed out their respective campaigns on a high note as both overhauled their marks from the other day.

Reigning Southeast Games champion Pagdanganan started the round with back-to-back birdies, before finishing with three birdies at the back nine for a 4-under 68 and even 144. The LPGA rookie finished just outside the top 100 at a tie for 102nd.

#ReadMore  Pagdanganan named as first-ever PSA Ms. Golf as Schrock wins second Mr. Football

On the other hand, Ardina plucked four birdies during the round and ended it with 2-under 70 for a 1-over 145 overall. She closed out the tournament in a share of 107th place.

Saso will look to sustain her momentum heading into the final two rounds of the championship starting on Friday morning here in Kapolei.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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