Yuka Saso of the Philippines got her bearings back in Round 2 in Olympic women’s golf on Thursday, carding a 3-under 68 for an even-par 142 to climb up the leaderboard.
Teammate Bianca Pagdanganan, meanwhile, shot an even 71 at the Kasumigaseki Golf Club in Saitama to slip to 27th after being bunched up at 7th on Wednesday.
As the temperature hovered at 30 degrees Celsius, Saso remained even on the day until she birdied the par-5 14th, par-3 16th, and par-4 18th.
Saso tied with 4 others for 34th place.
She was without her regular caddie, Lionel Matichuk, who was hospitalized Tuesday because of a heat stroke.
In a message to ABS-CBN News’ Dyan Castillejo, Bones Floro, secretary-general of the National Golf Association of the Philippines, the sport’s national governing body, said national team coach Miko Alejandro will caddie for Saso for the rest of the tournament.
It was her partnership with Matichuk that helped Saso secure the US Open championship.
Pagdanganan was 2-under on the round after 12 holes, but she bogeyed the par-4 13th and the 18th for an aggregate 140 and a share of 27th spot with 2 others.
The heat had also gotten to Pagdanganan’s coach, Carito Villaroman, who was taken to a clinic inside the course in the opening round because of dehydration.
Meanwhile, Nelly Korda ignited with a second-round 62 in sapping heat to put the United States top of the leaderboard by 4 strokes, as a storm forecast threatened to cut the tournament short.
World No. 1 Korda flirted with the magical 59 after 9 birdies and an eagle heading up the 18th.
Korda's 13-under total of 129 left her 4 ahead of Danish duo Nanna Koerstz Madsen (64) and Emily Kristine Pedersen (63), and India's surprise package Aditi Ashok (66).
If the weather disturbance intensifies to the point where organizers would have to cut the tournament down to 54 holes, Saso and Pagdanganan’s hopes of rallying would be severely diminished. — With a Reuters report
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