MANILA, Philippines — Yuka Saso moved into contention in the NW Arkansas Championship after a strong second round on Saturday in Rogers, Arkansas (Sunday in Manila).
Saso is tied with nine other players at 8-under after a 6-under 65 in the second round. The 20-year-old Filipina fired six birdies in the second round to shoot up the leaderboard after finishing in 44th place in the first round.
She is four strokes behind joint leaders Nasa Hataoka of Japan and Minjee Lee of Australia, who are both 12-under par.
Hataoka had fired a second hole-in-one in as many days to finish with a 65 in the second round, while Lee had eight birdies en route to a bogey-free 63.
Hataoka aced the 175-yard par-three No. 6 on Saturday with a five iron, one day after she aced the par-three No. 11 in another round of 65.
She became just the fifth player in LPGA Tour history to make two aces in one tournament and the first since her Japanese compatriot Ayako Uehara at the 2016 Women’s Open.
“When I hit the ball, it felt really good,” Hataoka said. “It went the way it was supposed to go. Though I never suspect it would be a hole-in-one, it was amazing.”
South Korea’s Ji Eun-Hee is in solo third at 11-under after a three-under 68. Lee6 Jeong-Eun, of South Korea, and Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn are tied for fourth at 10-under, two strokes back of the leaders.
Meanwhile, Filipina golfers Bianca Pagdanganan and Dottie Ardina are in joint 66th place with several other golfers with a 1-under-par total of 141. — With a report from Agence France-Presse