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Yuka Saso fires 64, shares lead in LPGA Lotte Championship

Yuka Saso shot a blistering 8-under 64 in the opening round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship. Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Filipina golfer Yuka Saso ended the first round on a high after finishing eight-under-par 64 to tie for first place in the LPGA's Lotte Championship on Thursday at the Ko Olina Golf Club in Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii.

Saso, who was recently named the Philippine Sportswriters Association's Athlete of the Year, notched eight birdies to tie 30-year old American Britanny Altomare for the top spot.

The 2018 Asian Games gold medalist hit four straight birdies to end the front nine, before hitting another birdie immediately after the turn.

Saso added back-to-back birdies to close out the back nine for round 1 card of eight-under-par.

The 19-year old Filipina is looking to make amends for a 50th place finish in her first LPGA outing in the 2021 ANA Inspiration.

Despite a stellar first round outing, Saso believes she was fortunate and admitted that she struggled with the windy conditions in the back nine.

"I really made good drives today, made good up and downs. So like I said earlier, I think I got lucky today, but I'll just live it today and get ready for tomorrow," Saso told LPGA.com.

"I'm working on my golf to be able to play good in windy conditions, so I'm happy I was able to play good," Saso added later on. "But I really wasn't expecting anything because like I said, I don't really like windy conditions."

Filipina compatriots Bianca Pagdanganan and Dottie Ardina didn't fare as well as Saso, with the pair ending the first round at 131st and 119th, respectively. Pagdanganan was 4-over after a 76 while Ardina was just a stroke ahead with a 3-over 75 in the $2,000,000 tournament.

The second round of the Lotte Championship continues on Friday Philippine time.