Saso misses cut for second time despite a 70

Yuka Saso bogeyed the 17th for a two-under 70 and missed the cut for the second time in the Itoen Ladies golf tournament Saturday in Chiba, Japan.

The bogey proved costly for the Fil-Japanese as she wound up in joint 67th, two strokes off the top 50 plus ties who tallied at least a 144 to advance to the final round of the Y100 million event.

It was a disappointing show for Saso who sparked hopes for a third leg victory after a runner-up finish in last Sunday’s Toto Classic where she closed out with a sparkling bogey-free 63 to finish behind Korean Shin Jie.

That event was LPGA of Japan Tour’s third major for the year.

But she groped with her iron game and putting Friday that saw her miss five greens for that 76 in the opening round. 

Ayaka Furue, meanwhile, recalled the form that netted her the Tokai Classic title two months ago firing a seven-under 65 while Hikaru Yoshimoto shot a 66 as they took charge at 134, two strokes ahead of overnight leader Kim Ha Neul and two others while a slew of players stood just a shot or two behind to guarantee a wide-open battle for top honors worth Y18 million.

Kim slowed down with 71 after a solid 65 and slipped to joint third at 136 with compatriot Lee Bo-Mee and Yoon Chae Young, who carded 65 and 68, respectively.

Over in Shizuoka, Juvic Pagunsan turned in a 69 for joint 17th at the Taiheiyo Masters paced by Chan Kim and Ryosuke Kinoshita at the Taiheiyo Club Gotemba course on Saturday.