Yuka Saso at joint 4th to start Gainbridge LPGA campaign

Delfin Dioquino
Yuka Saso at joint 4th to start Gainbridge LPGA campaign

PROMISING START. Yuka Saso fires six birdies and just one bogey in a steady first-round display.


Yuka Saso, now representing Japan, shares fourth place with six other players at the end of the opening round of Gainbridge LPGA

MANILA, Philippines – Yuka Saso figured in a seven-way tie at fourth place after the first round of the Gainbridge LPGA at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Boca Raton, Florida on Thursday, January 27 (Friday, January 28, Manila time).

Now representing Japan, Saso carded a 5-under par 67 following a steady first-round display that saw her fire six birdies and just one bogey.

The Filipina-Japanese, who finished sixth in the previous Tournament of Champions, continued to be one of the top contenders in the LPGA tour, sharing fourth place with Korea’s Hye-Jin Choi and Jeongeun Lee, Japan’s Nasa Hataoka, USA’s Gerina Mendoza, Canada’s Maude-Aimee Leblanc, and England’s Charley Hull.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Lydia Ko got off to a blazing start as she seized the top spot with a 9-under par 63 behind a bogey-free round.

Ko birdied half of her holes for a two-stroke lead over USA’s Danielle Kang.

Picking up where she left off after ruling the Tournament of Champions, Kang scored a 7-under par 65 off eight birdies and one bogey.

India’s Aditi Ashok wound up at solo third place with a 6-under par 66.

While Saso ended the first round inside the top 10, former national teammate Bianca Pagdanganan barely made the projected cut line at joint 63rd place with a par 72.

Pagdanganan sank three birdies on the back nine, but she canceled those out with three bogeys in a roller-coaster opening round.

Three more rounds will be played in the 72-hole tournament, which has a prize pool of $2 million (around P100 million). –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.