Yuka Saso missed the cut of the first LPGA of Japan Tour event this year as she failed to advance in the 2021 Daikin Orchid Ladies Tournament at the Ryukyu Golf Club in Okinawa on Friday, March 5.
Saso struggled to find her touch anew in the second round, settling for the same one-over 72 she had in the opening round for a total of 146 to exit the ¥120 million (over P53.8 million) tourney on Thursday.
Saso went just a shot over the mark of the last ones among the 62 players advancing to the final two rounds as she wound up on a nine-way tie at No. 63 in the 108-strong tilt.
Saso, who leads the 2020-21 JLPGA Tour in money earned with ¥93,891,170 (over P42 million) after winning two events last year, had a rough start as she went for a bogey in the par-4 second hole.
The 2018 Asian Games double gold medalist bounced back as she fired a birdie in the fifth hole but bogeyed again in the eighth before closing out the front nine.
Saso opened the back nine with a birdie in the 11th and 13th holes but a bogey in the 16th and 18th flushed her efforts down the drain.
Haruka Morita hit six-under 72 in the second round for 134, forging a tie heading to the last stretch with early leader Mao Saigo who shot a brilliant eight-under in the opening round.
Saso will look to bounce back in the 2021 Meiji Yasuda Insurance Ladies Yokohama Tire Golf Tournament slated March 12-14 at the Tosa Country Club in the Kochi Prefecture.