Yuka Saso takes lead midway through U.S. Women's Open

Philippine's Yuka Saso cards a 4-under 67 in the second round to take a one-shot lead; South Korea's Jeongeun Lee sits in second place.

Philippine golfer Yuka Saso. - GETTY IMAGES (FILE)

Yuka Saso of the Philippines tied for the second-best round of the day at 4-under 67 to take a one-shot lead midway through the U.S. Women's Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Saso had six birdies and two bogeys, one each on the front and back nines, and is at 6-under for the tournament.

"I hit good shots from the rough today and holed a couple of putts. I think that made my day good," said Saso, who is looking for her first LPGA Tour win.

She leads South Korea's Jeongeun Lee, who shot the day's other 67 and is second at 5-under after 36 holes.

Lee, the 2019 U.S. Women's champion, had a bogey on the second hole but all birdies and pars the rest of the way. Three of her five birdies came on holes 15 through 17.

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"Well, I gained great confidence because I win the championship," Lee said when asked about her three finishes in the top six in this event. "And for this course, I think I need a lot to focus on that course, because the course is not that easy. However, with my focus and with my attention and efforts, I think I can do better."

High school junior Megha Ganne, one of the co-leaders after the first round, followed up her opening 67 with an even-par 71 on Friday to tie for third at 4-under overall. After two birdies on the front nine, Ganne, an amateur from Holmdel, N. J., had three bogeys vs. one birdie on the back. She made a putt on No. 18 that went for a bogey but allowed her to salvage par for the day.

 

"You know, I wasn't going to be too hard on myself if I missed it. It was a challenging putt. I just wanted to get it started on line. On the hole before that [actually on No. 16], I made a birdie, so I wasn't too worried if I made a bogey on the last one, but I'm glad it fell," Ganne said after the round.

Also at 4-under is Megan Khang, who fired a 1-under 70 on Friday. Her day included three birdies and two bogeys.

Alone in fifth place is China's Shanshan Feng, who fired a 1-under 70 to sit at -3 under overall. She had to recover from a slow start, recording bogeys on three of the first five holes before finishing the round with four birdies and the rest pars.

The other first-round co-leader, England's Mel Reid, also had trouble on the back nine. Three of her four bogeys on the day came within the last five holes. Her 2-over 73 left her in a three-way tie for sixth overall with Korea's Inbee Park (69 on Friday) and Lexi Thompson (71).

Defending champion A Lim Kim of South Korea, who shot 8-over 79 on Thursday, fired a 70 on Friday to sit at plus-7 for the tournament, one stroke below the projected cut line.

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