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Saiki storms into title contention

Kyodo

Miki Saiki made a pair of eagles Friday in a second-round 66 to move within one shot of South Korean leader Choi Na-yeon at the Women’s British Open.

Saiki, a seven-time winner on the Japan LPGA Tour who has won twice this year, holed her second shots for eagle in a front-nine 30 en route to a 9-under-par total of 135. Choi took the halfway lead on 134 after a 67.

Saiki carded two birdies and a bogey in her opening three holes. From 127 yards out on the par-4 fourth, she hit an 8-iron approach that landed short of the hole and rolled in for an eagle 2. Her pitching wedge shot from 108 yards on the par-4 No. 7 had the same result, giving her two hole-out eagles in a span of four holes.

“I was really surprised,” Saiki said. “I would never have expected two eagles to drop in like that in the same round.”

Morgan Pressel followed Saiki in third at 136, with Suzann Pettersen, Lee Jee-young and Nicole Castrale another shot back.