Yuka Saso carded a 2-under-par 68 for a share of 23rd place at the start of the Pelican Women’s Championship in Bellair, Florida Thursday.
Saso, the reigning US Women’s Open titlist, gunned down five birdies, including the 17th and 18th holes, that more than made up for her double-bogey on the 12th and a bogey on the 16th.
She also birdied the seventh and eighth.
The Fil-Japanese Olympian trailed Leona Maguire by six strokes after the Irish turned in a bogey-free 62 for the solo lead in this four-round tournament
Korean Sei Young Kim sits two shots behind Maguire with an eagle-aided 64, while Japan’s Nasa Hataoka and Americans Lexi Thompson, Jennifer Kupcho, Lauren Coughlin, Christina Kim, Danielle Kang and Nelly Korda posted identical 65s.
Saso returned to the United States after a stint at the Toto Japan Classic last week where she finished tied for 22nd place.