Yuka Saso posted a second-consecutive round of 64 and will enter the weekend in Oahu, Hawaii with a two-shot advantage at the LOTTE Championship.
The 18-year old Pilipino, who’s playing on a sponsor’s exemption, finished with a single bogey alongside nine birdies, including four straight on Nos. 7-10 and back-to-back gains on Nos. 16 and 17 to secure the halftime marquee position on 16 under, two clear of Lydia Ko.
The 36-hole score of 16-under 128 is a new tournament record, besting Eun Hee Ji’s 129 score in 2019.
“I think I hit good tee shots today and holed a lot of birdie putts,” said Saso, who shared the lead after round one with Brittany Altomare.
“Yeah, I got a good shot again on No. 8. I think I was pretty hitting good the front nine.”
Ko, the former world No. 1, was just two back after a bogey-free 63 got her to 14 under.
“Today I feel like I gave myself a lot of good opportunities for birdies,” said Ko, who has made just one bogey over 36 holes.
“Overall, yesterday, between yesterday and today I feel like my game has been pretty solid.
“So hopefully stick to my game plan and just keep hitting it confidently and with commitment and see where it takes me for the rest of the two days.”
Luna Sobron Galmes (64), Hyo Joo Kim (65), So Yeon Ryu (68), and Nelly Korda (68) were T3 on 11 under.
2021 LOTTE Championship
Top-5 Leaders: Round Two
Pos-Player-To Par-(Rd 2)
1. Yuka Saso -16 (-8)
2. Lydia Ko -14 (-9)
3. Luna Sobron Galmes -11 (-8)
3. Hyo Joo Kim -11 (-7)
3. So Yeon Ryu -11 (-4)
3. Nelly Korda -11 (-4)
Material from the LPGA Tour Communications was used to compile this report.