Yuka Saso opened her second straight LPGA tournament this year on a strong note after a solid 8-under 64 for a share of the lead in the 2021 Lotte Championship held at the Ko Olina Golf Club in Kapolei, Hawaii, Thursday morning (Manila time).
Saso, 19, placed at a tie at 50th in her previous tournament in ANA Inspiration, and the teenager is determined to bounce back this time.
The 2018 Asian Games champion rolled on to a huge start after bagging five birdies at the front nine. After taking the par-4 No. 4 in three hits, she strung four consecutive birdies starting from No. 6.
Saso actually bagged another birdie after the turn to start the backside to go 6-under, before ending the round with a back-to-back for her final round card at 8-under.
The JLPGA rookie is currently tied with USA’s Brittany Altomare at the top spot in this tournament which awards $300,000 (P 14,451,450) to the winner.
The other two Filipino golfers Bianca Pagdanganan and Dottie Ardina were not as fortunate, but are not far from still making the cut.
Pagdanganan is currently tied for 133rd with a 4-over 76, while Ardina is joint 121st with a 3-over 75.
The second round of the championship rolls on Thursday morning in this Hawaiian town.