KIKUYO, Kumamoto Pref. (Kyodo) Unheralded Yuka Sakaguchi bagged four of five birdies on the front nine and eagle putted the first hole of her inward journey en route to a 4-under-par 68, taking a one-stroke lead after the first round of the Saishunkan Ladies on Friday.

Sakaguchi, who is winless in her sixth year on the Japanese LPGA tour, teed off on the back nine with an eagle on the par-4 No. 1 hole and birdied the par-5 No. 9, but blemished her scorecard with three bogeys at Kumamoto Country Club.

Miho Koga, who just returned from playing on the U.S. LPGA tour, drained five birdies against two bogeys to close with 3-under 69 for sole possession of second, while Ji Yeon Han of South Korea is a further shot back in third after a round of 70.

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