Yuka Saso opened with four straight birdies and went on to complete a flawless 65 at the start of the 39th Daio Paper Elleair Ladies Open at the Elleair Golf Club in Matsuyama on Thursday.
Smarting from a missed cut last week, the 19-year-old Filipino-Japanese rookie made her move early in the back nine where she started, going 4-under after four holes.
She added another birdie on 4 and 9 to share the first round lead with Yuna Nishimura and Ayaka Furue.
Nishimura, winner of the Hisako Higuchi Ladies golf tournament, had eight birdies against two bogeys.
Furue, on the other hand, collected six birdies in a bogey-free round.
Like Saso, Furue is a two-time winner this season. She won the 51st Descente Ladies Tokai Classic and the Itoen Ladies.
Five players were bunched with identical 68s — Bo-Mee Lee, Anna Kono, Hinako Shibuno and Jiyai Shin.
Meanwhile, Juvic Pagunsan struggled with a two-over par 73 and found himself in danger of missing the cut in the 47th Dunlop Phoenix tournament at the Phoenix Seagia Resort in Miyazaki.
The 42-year-old Filipino reached only six greens in regulation and leaned on his solid short game to save nine pars. He only had one birdie against three bogeys.
Justin delos Santos, the other Filipino in the field, was in better position after firing a 71 behind three birdies against three bogeys.
Atomu Shigenaga made six birdies in a bogey-free 66 to grab a one-shot lead over fellow Japanese Hiroshi Iwata.
A big group stood on 67 — Daijiro Izumida, Yuki Inamori, Chan Kim, Ryutaro Nagano, Ryuko Tokimatsu, Tomoyo Ikemura, Naoto Nakanishi, Gunn Charoenkul and Tomohiro Ishizaka.
Date: November 20, 2020 | Newspaper: Tribune | Source: https://tribune.net.ph/index.php/2020/11/20/yuka-shares-lead-juvic-struggles/?fbclid=IwAR2e36C7YwgWO4mo-Pl9SAwAwzdhk1iwZ7Nhwyqeym-nVfPVVsvsRE5xh3w