YUKA Saso recovered from a bogey on the 17th with birdie on the finishing hole, carding a four-under 67 for a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Manila Southwoods Ladies Classic on Wednesday at Southwoods’ Legends course in Carmona, Cavite.
Saso played steady in strong winds, hitting birdie on No. 4 and flashed her familiarity with the bunker-laden layout she calls home with three birdies in the first five holes of the back nine.
She, however, flubbing a six-foot par-putt on the par-5 17th before hitting a solid drive and superb wedge shot that landed two feet off the cup on No. 18 for a six-under 136 total.
“I did my best in every hole but I think I pushed myself too hard on No. 17. Otherwise, everything is okay,” said Saso, at 14 already a veteran of many international competitions, including the Queen Sirikit Cup last May, and trying to become the third amateur to win this year after Princess Superal at Wack Wack and Hwang Min Jeong at Mt. Malarayat.
Fil-Japanese Chihiro Ikeda shot a 70, Saraporn Chamchoi had a bogey free 67, and Hwang fired a 70 to share second at 137.
Overnight leader Mookharin Ladgratok of Thailand had no birdie to show in a 75, tumbling down to eighth at 141.