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Saso bounces back with 69 but still trails by 6

MANILA, Philippines -- Yuka Saso rebounded from a previous round of 75 with a 69 but still found herself trailing significantly behind new leaders KoreanJiyai Shin and Alison Lee of the US after three rounds of the FIR Hills Seri Pak Championship at Palos Verdes Estates in California Saturday (Sunday Manila time).

Saso continued to struggle with her putting, finishing with 33 putts despite hitting 10 fairways and 16 greens. She hit three birdies against a bogey for a 35-34 card and a three-day haul of 210.

Despite climbing seven spots to tie for 26th place, the ICTSI-backed 2021 US Women’s Open champion remained six shots off Shin and Lee, who both posted 204s after 63 and 68, respectively, at the par-71 course.

They led Aussie Gabriela Ruffels, American Nelly Norda, Chinese Ruoning YIn and erstwhile leader Malia Nam of the US, who all assembled 206s.

Ruffels shot a 65, Norda carded a 67 while Yin and Nam turned in 71 and 72, respectively.

Meanwhile, Bianca Pagdanganan put in a second straight 70, spiked by an eagle on No. 7 but marred by a double bogey on No. 3. She gunned down three birdies against two bogeys in the last seven holes to save a 36-34 for joint 40th at 212.

Pagdanganan hit 11 fairways and recorded 28 putts but faced challenges with her iron, missing seven greens.

In Florida, Pauline del Rosario rode on a three-birdie binge in a four-hole stretch from No. 17, finishing with a 69 for joint 26th place in the inaugural Atlantic Beach Classic won by Briana Chacon in Atlanta Beach, also Saturday.

Chacon birdied two of the last three holes to shoot a 69 and pool a 206, edging fellow Americans Jessica Porvasniko and Kim Kaufman, who shot 69 and 71, respectively, for 207s.

Del Rosario could have posted a lower score if not for her inconsistent putting, ending up with 32 putts. She hit all but two fairways and reached the greens regulation 15 times.