Yuka Saso (AFP)

Yuka Saso fired a 2-under-par 70 in the third round to improve to joint 12th place in the 4th Toto Japan Classic at the Seta Golf Course in Shiga Prefecture Saturday.

Saso shot four birdies against two bogeys at the back nine for a three-round total of 211, eight strokes behind new solo leader Ayaka Furue.

The Fil-Japanese had earlier rounds of 71 and 70 and started the day at joint 16th place.

Furue grabbed the lead after a bogey-free 68 for a 203 aggregate from earlier rounds of 68 and 67.

Inami Mone and Momoko Ueda trail by two strokes with identical 205s after shooting 67 and 68, while Mao Saigo blasted a 66 for 206.

Sakura Koiwai, who had been leading the first two rounds, struggled with a 73 to slip to solo fifth with a 207 total.

Koiwai, who had rounds of 65 and 67, stumbled with three bogeys in the first 10 holes before shooting back-to-back birdies on 16th and 17th.

Saso needed a lot of catching up to do in Sunday’s final round for the title and the 33 million yen (around P14.6 million) prize purse.

Last year, the 20-year-old Tokyo Olympian finished second behind South Korean Jiyai Shin.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2021/11/06/yuka-saso-at-joint-12th-after-three-rounds-in-toto-japan-classic/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=yuka-saso-at-joint-12th-after-three-rounds-in-toto-japan-classic)