Saso, Nishimura stay ahead with 70s
Dante Navarro (The Philippine Star) – November 21, 2020 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines — Yuka Saso and Yuna Nishimura slugged it out shot-for-shot and putt-for-putt for the second straight day yesterday and ended up still on top with 70s with their brewing rivalry expected to extend all the way to the finish of the Daio Paper ElleAir Ladies Open in Ehime Prefecture in Japan.
Both also traded late bogeys that kept them tied at 135 although Ayaka Furue and Minami Katsu assembled identical 136s after a 68 and 71, respectively, and three others, including Sakura Koiwai, pooled 138s to guarantee a spirited chase heading to the weekend play of the 72-hole championship offering a top purse of Y18 million from a total prize fund of Y100 million.
Saso and Nishimura , who matched six-under 65s Thursday that saw the Fil-Japanese sizzle with 23 putts, failed to shake off each other in a fiery duel in cold, windy conditions with the former birdying two of the first four holes and the latter countering with birdies on Nos. 3 and 6.
As two-leg winner Saso bogeyed No. 5, Nishimura, who scored a breakthrough in the recent Mitsubishi Electric tilt, also dropped a shot on No. 8 and the duo headed to the last nine holes tied again.
Meanwhile , Bianca Pagdanganan stirred up play with a superb backside start but faltered in a windy finish to end up with a three-over 73 and fall behind by nine off a hot-starting Sophia Popov of Germany after 18 holes of the Pelican Women’s Championship over in Belleair, Florida Thursday.