Yuka Saso turned in an eagle-spiked five-under 67 Saturday but found herself trailing new leader by six shots after the Taiheiyo Club Minori course took another beating in the second round of the Toto Japan Classic. 

Showing her power off the tee, Saso and world No. 5 Nasa Hataoka eagled hole No. 17 that helped boost their respective bids heading to the final 18 holes of the Y160 million championship.

The ICTSI-backed Saso had a two-day aggregate of 137 for joint 12th. 

Saso, who is out to rebound following disappointing finishes and misfortunes that included a first missed cut stint in 10 tournaments in the region’s premier ladies circuit last week, shot a 70 in the opening round. 

It was Korean Shin Jie who shone brightest in another low-scoring day as the recent Fujitsu Ladies winner knocked in seven birdies for a solid 65 for a 13-under 131, a shot ahead over Japanese Ayako Kimura, who came away with a tournament-best eight-under 64 for a 132.

Kimura had a 33-31 round highlighted by a pitch-in eagle on the par-4 No. 7 and added six more birdies in a big follow-up to her opening 68.

Korean Lee Min-Young shot a 66 for a solo third at 133, setting a stage for what could a big Sunday showdown. 

Erstwhile leaders Saiki Fujita and Bae Saen Woo submitted 70s after a pair of 65s, thus dropping to joint fourth at 135 with Mao Saigo, who shot a 67, still within striking distance.

Saso hinted of good things to come by birdying three of the first five holes as she outgunned archrival Sakura Koiwai in one of the featured groups.

Saso also birdied hole No. 12 but a last-hole bogey prevented her from posting a much better result.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2020/11/07/saso-still-6-shots-off-new-leader-despite-a-67/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=saso-still-6-shots-off-new-leader-despite-a-67)