Yuka Saso bags NEC title, first win in JLPGA

Published August 16, 2020, 3:04 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Asian games gold medalist takes home P6.58M prize money
yuka saso
Filipina golfer Yuka Saso bags her first win in the JLPGA tournament. (File Photo)

Asian Games gold medalist Yuka Saso finally won in the Japan LPGA Tour as she fired a 9-under par 63 to rule the NEC Karuizawa Tournament Sunday in Kitasaku-gun, Nagano Prefecture.

Saso highlighted her Day 3 performance with an eagle on par five 16 to go with seven birdies in a bogey free round to take home the top prize of approximately P6.58 million (14.4 million yen).

Aside from the lucrative prize money, Saso – a rookie in the Tour – earned the distinction as the first Filipino golfer to capture a championship in the tough Japan LPGA Tour.

After she opened the final round with a par, the 19-year-old Filipino-Japanese converted back-to-back birdies on 2 and 3, and two holes later, she birdied on 6 before another two straight on 8 and 9 at the turn.

It was actually three consecutive birdies for Saso as she drilled in one on 10 then had her last one on 14.

Saso finished 16-under 200 in the three-day tournament for a 4-shot victory over local bets Maiko Wakabashi and Saika Fujita, who were tied for second and third at 12-under 204, followed by Chie Arimura and Mao Saigo at 205 and 206, respectively.

Saso, who also led the Philippine women’s team to a gold medal finish in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, shot an opening round 65, and then carded an even par 72 in the second round.