8: 48 PM ET
KAPOLEI, Hawaii — Yuka Saso shot her second consecutive 8-below 64 on Thursday to catch a two-shot lead over surging Lydia Ko after two rounds of the Lotte Championship.
Saso, who’s taking part in on a sponsor’s exemption, made seven birdies in her first 10 holes to acquire Ko, who shot 63 earlier Thursday at Kapolei Golf Membership. The 19-year-feeble from the Philippines then birdied the 16th and 17th holes to reach 16 below.
No longer inappropriate a player in her sixth LPGA Tour occasion who’s miserable with the Hawaii wind.
“I’m making an are trying to procure passe to it,” Saso stated. “The wind is gentle trusty. Like I stated the outdated day, I don’t certainly love windy circumstances. I’m delighted I’m able to play beautiful even if I don’t certainly in finding it irresistible.”
Saso, who turned official in November 2019, plays totally on the Japan LPGA Tour, where she has won twice, and is ranked 43rd on the earth. Her easiest outdated LPGA procure used to be 69, and her most sensible probably attain used to be 13th on the U.S. Ladies’s Beginning final December.
Ko, the archaic No. 1 and two-time foremost champion, hasn’t won since 2018 but would be the freshest player on tour. She has performed her final three rounds in 24 below.
Ko shot a closing-spherical 62 final week on the year’s first foremost, the ANA Inspiration, to attain runner-as much as Patty Tavatanakit.
“Coming into this week, clearly coming off the most traditional spherical in a certainly long time, I assemble of didn’t know what to quiz,” Ko stated. “Clearly you feel love your sport is involving within the trusty route, but you don’t desire to assemble of slack off. Having a agreeable spherical below my belt the outdated day certainly helped. Right here is a golf route where especially when the wind is down or no longer it’s moderately gettable.”
Fourth-ranked Nelly Korda used to be five photos wait on alongside with So Yeon Ryu, Hyo Joo Kim and Luna Sobron Galmes, who plays totally on the Ladies folk European Tour. Sobron Galmes had 10 birdies whereas shooting 64.
U.S. Ladies’s Beginning champion A Lim Kim used to be 10 below after a 64, joined by Ally Ewing and Brianna Develop, who shot a profession-low 66.
Develop’s caddie for the week is Tadd Fujikawa, the longtime Hawaii official who made the decrease on the PGA Tour’s Sony Beginning as a 16-year-feeble newbie in 2007.
Fujikawa is house to play next week’s Mid-Pacific Beginning and practices on a authorized foundation at Kapolei. He’s known Develop since they beget been 12 years feeble.
“Many of the time,” Fujikawa stated with a smile, “she listens moderately darn successfully.”
Seventeen-year-feeble Rose Zhang (68), the field’s top-ranked newbie, used to be 9 below.
Brooke Henderson, the 2018 and 2019 Lotte champion, used to be eight photos wait on after her second straight 68. She has hit all 36 greens in regulations.
Amy Yang had a gap-in-one on the 12th gap, the third ace on tour this year.