Yuka Saso 3 shots behind in opening round of YOG

BUENOS AIRES – Golfers Yuka Saso and Carl Jano Corpus boosted Team Philippines’ medal hopes Tuesday with steady rounds under the cold and windy conditions at the Hurlingham Club here.


Saso, the reigning Asian Games individual champion, fired a one-over-par 71 and stood three strokes off the lead in the 54-hole tournament of this third Youth Olympic Games.


The Filipina-Japanese had a roller-coaster round of five birdies and six bogeys. But she sounded happy with her round, despite all the difficulties she found on the windy day.


“I’m happy with my round. I’m okay,” said the 17-year-old who won the individual and team gold medals in the last Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.


Saso is three shots behind Alesia Nobilio of Italy, who shot a 68, and found company in Maria Fernanda Martinez Almeida of Mexico, Emille Oeveraas of Norway, Grace Kim of Australia and Hoyu An of Chinese-Taipei who all had a 71.


Corpus, who’s also 17, shot a similar round of 71 and was tied for fifth place with three others, and two shots behind the leaders – Vanchai Luangnitikul of Thailand, Akshai Bathia of the United States, Andrea Romano of Italy and Karl Vilips of Australia with their 69s.


Elsewhere on Argentine soil, Filipino fencer Lawrence Tan bowed out of foil competition, falling short in his table-of-16 match with Hong Kong’s Pak Chan, 15-11.


Tan drew cheers from the small Philippine delegation, including her mother, and had a good run with victories over fencers from the Australia and Italy, and losses to Chinese-Taipei, Portugal and France en route to the final 16.