Apr 16th, 2021
Saso grabs headlines as Ko goes low
Teenager leads by two shots at the Lotte Championship
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
Ko is a player in form after her record-breaking final round score, a ten-under 62, at the ANA Inspiration. Ko grabbed the lead with a flawless round that included nine birdies but a few hours later, it was Yuka Saso grabbing the headlines.
The 19-year-old from the Philippines, in the field on a sponsor invitation, birdied seven of her first ten holes to pull level with Ko for the lead at fourteen-under.
Saso added birdies at the 16th and 17th to open up a two-shot lead and post her second eight-under round at Kapolei Golf Club in Hawaii.
South Koreans Hyo Joo Kim and So Yeon Ryu sit alongside Spain's Luna Sobron Galmes and American Nelly Korda in a share of third place at eleven-under.
"Two more days, I'm trying to get used to it," Saso said.
"I made some good putts, had good up and downs, my driving was very consistent today."
Saso, who only turned pro shortly after winning the 2019 Girls Junior PGA, is currently a member of the Japan LPGA Tour. The teenager won twice on the Japanese tour last year and she is currently third on its money list.
Ko, who has fifteen LPGA titles, including two majors, under her belt, continues to look for her first victory since 2018.
"I just continuously gave myself opportunities," Ko said.
"It's a course where some players can go really low, so I feel like I was able to do a pretty good job at that."
Elsewhere, Amy Yang created some excitement with a hole-in-one on the par-3 12th. The ace, the third ace on the LPGA in 2021, helped move Yang to seven-under for the tournament.
Stephanie Meadows of Northern Ireland shot a second-round two-under 70 to sit in a tie for thirty-fifth on seven-under with England's Georgia Hall one shot further back following her 68.