Filipino-Japanese Yuka Saso shot a two-under par 70 to trail by two strokes from leader Bae Seon Woo of South Korea in the opening round of the Fujitsu Ladies 2020 at the Tokyu Seven Hundred Club Friday in Chiba, Japan yesterday.
Saso struggled a little near the end when she bogeyed on 14 and three-putted on the par-5 16 for par.
However, the 19-year-old Saso – double gold medalist in the Asian Games – closed out with par-saves to tie eight other participants, including Player of the Year leader Sakura Koiwai and Asuya Kashiwabara.
Saso, a rookie in the Japan Tour, is hoping to bag another tournament after missing five tries in the last five events following her sensational back-to-back titles last August.
This 54-hole tournament offers a champion’s purse of Y18 million – or approximatelyP8.3 million). Though he has been relegated to second in the race for Player of the Year, she remains as the leader in the money race.
Saso – winner of the NEC Karuizawa and Nitori Ladies titles – birdied on 4, 7 and 10.
The 24-year-old Woo made three birdies at the front before adding another in the last nine holes for a bogey-free 68, She holds a one-stroke lead on former champion Teresa Lu and four others.
Lu shot a 69, same with Kana Nagai, Mamiko Higa, and Akira Yamaji.
Veteran Momoko Ueda shot a 72.