Golf: Yuka slips in Round 2, but remains in contention at Women's British Open

Reuters

Posted at Aug 21 2021 03:46 AM

Yuka Saso chips out of the rough onto the 15th green during Round 2 of the 45th AIG Women's Open at Carnoustie, Scotland on August 20, 2021. Andy Buchanan, AFP
Yuka Saso chips out of the rough onto the 15th green during Round 2 of the 45th AIG Women's Open at Carnoustie, Scotland on August 20, 2021. Andy Buchanan, AFP

Filipina Yuka Saso slid to a tie for 5th place at the end of Round 2 of the Women's British Open, after tallying 1-under 71. 

Bogeys on the par-4 No. 9 and par-5 12th hole — which she eagled on Thursday — were the stains on Saso's Friday outing at Carnoustie, dragging her down to a tie for 5th spot with 5 others (5-under 139), including American Lexi Thompson. 

American Mina Harigae, meanwhile, blasted to the top of a bunched up leaderboard with a dazzling 5-under second round 67. 

Harigae shared the clubhouse lead with England's Georgia Hall, the winner at Royal Lytham and St Annes 3 years ago, who carded a round of 69 to also move to 7 under.

Joint overnight leader Kim Sei-young was less impressive than on Thursday as she shot a 1-under 71 to sit at 6 under, tied for third with American Lizette Salas. 

Nelly Korda, the world No.1 and joint leader on 67 after the first round, never hit full throttle, but the Olympic champion was still well placed on four under after a 73. 

With little more than a breeze and plenty of sun, Carnoustie has yet to live up to its billing as one of the world's toughest courses. 

But that could change if the harsh weather forecast for the North Sea coast of Scotland this weekend does indeed hit the links. 

Harigae picked up 3 birdies on her outward 9 and after making her second bogey of the day on the 10th, she finished impressively with 4 birdies in her last 8 holes. 

At the age of 31, she has won 7 titles on minor Tours but is still awaiting a first LPGA victory.

Winning at Carnoustie would also seal her dream of being selected for the US team to play Europe in the Solheim Cup.

When Hall made her sixth birdie of the day at the par-5 14th she moved 2 shots clear of the pack at 9 under but a double-bogey 6 at the 15th proved costly.

Thompson reached 7 under for the tournament when she birdied the par-5 12th but a couple of bogeys left her a couple of shots back on 5 under.

Ireland's Leona Maguire played herself right into contention with a 67 to join American Yealimi Noh and Denmark's Nanna Madsen on 5 under for 2 rounds. 

One player not making the most of the decent scoring conditions, however, was reigning champion Sophia Popov who slumped to a 3-over 75 and looks set to miss the cut barring a deterioration in the weather later. (Reporting by Martyn Herman Editing by Christian Radnedge) — With a report from Elspeth Burnside, Agence France-Presse

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