Yuka Saso finishes joint sixth, Lydia Ko wins Lotte Championship

Published April 18, 2021, 1:41 PM

by Waylon Galvez

The Filipina golfer pockets P2.6 million

Yuka Saso
Yuka Saso (From LPGA Twitter account)

Yuka Saso carded a final round two-under-par 70 to finish tied for sixth to ninth places in the LPGA Lotte Championship Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the Kapolei Course in Hawaii.

The 19-year-old Saso ended her campaign nine shots behind winner Lydia Ko as the New Zealand bet scored a final-round 65 for a seven-shot victory against four other players.

Ko, a two-time majors winner, was 28-under in the four-day event for a total of 260, followed by Sei Young Kim and Inbee Park of South Korea, Leona Maguire of Ireland and Nelly Korda with identical 267.

It was Ko’s 16th title in the LPGA tour, earning $300,00 in this tournament that gathered 144 players.

Saso, a double gold medalist in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, finished tied with Chinese Taipei’s Wei-Ling Hsu, American Sarah Schmelzel and Jenny Shin of South Korea with 269.

She pocketed $54,848 (around P2.6 million).

It was the best finish for Saso in the LPGA tour, surpassing her tied for 13th during last year’s US Open.

Saso, a two-time Japan LPGA tour champion, led after two rounds following back-to-back 64 but slipped from the leaderboard after a third-round 71 to trail with Ko by four shots heading to the final round.

But the 23-year-old Ko was just too much for the rest of the field as another solid bogey-free round for the third straight day saw her convert seven birdies, including four straight from Nos. 9 to 12.

Saso, for her part, had five birdies against a bogey on No. 9 and a double bogey on No. 13.

Koreans A Lim Kim and Amy Yang finished tied for 10th to 11th spots at 270.