Yuka Saso flaunted her true form, firing a six-under-par 64 Friday to get back in the mix halfway through the Pelican Women’s Championship in Belleair, Florida.
Rediscovering the brilliance that enabled her to win the US Women’s Open, Saso, 20, gunned down eight birdies, four of them on the last five holes.
Along with her 68 in the opening day, Saso tallied a two-day aggregate of 132 – just three shots behind Americans Jennifer Kupcho and Lexi Thompson who made their own versions of 64.
What was remarkable was that Saso outplayed her flightmates world No. 1 Nelly Korda and Danielle Kang this time. Korda and Kang shot 65s in the first day.
Korda, however, remained a shot ahead of Saso, tying Koreans Lee Mi-Hyang (62) and Kim Sei-young (67), Matilda Castren (64), Christina Kim (66).
Opening day leader Leona Maguire of Ireland slipped to a share of second with Taiwanese Hsu Wei-Ling who also produced a 64. Maguire, who sizzled with a 62 in the first day, managed only a 68.
But the limelight fell on Saso’s group as she engaged Kora in a driving contest.