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Yuka Saso of the Philippines gunned down five birdies and an eagle in an eight-hole stretch en route to a three-under-par 69 Thursday that sent her pulling away by four strokes going into the final round of the girls 15-17 years division play of the IMG Academy Junior World Golf Championships at the La Costa Resort and Spa Legends course in Carlsbad, California.
Lapsing with back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 3-4, the 15-year-old Saso recovered her composure to go on a spellbinding explosion of birdies on the sixth and seventh, an eagle on the ninth then three more birdies on the first four holes of her back nine trip that boosted the country’s hope for a lone victory in the 48th staging of the event considered as the world’s biggest jungolf event.
Saso’s lead could have been bigger if not for two closing bogeys on the 17th where she finally made her first three-putt miscue for the week and 18th where she failed to rescue par from the bunker.