WATCH: Yuka Saso’s wholesome reaction after earning LPGA Tour membership

Published June 9, 2021, 9:11 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Filipina golf sensation Yuka Saso cannot help but to be in awe after learning that she has earned a five-year membership to the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour.

Yuka Saso of the Philippines celebrates with the Harton S. Semple Trophy after winning the 76th U.S. Women’s Open Championship at The Olympic Club on June 6, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (AFP)

Saso made history after beating Japanese player Nasa Hataoka to become the first Filipino to win the US Women’s Open and the 21st player to make the said tourney her first LPGA Tour victory.

Aside from the Harton S. Semple trophy and a hefty $1 million (approximately P48 million) cash prize, the 19-year-old Saso, perplexed and still on cloud nine, learned that she got a full LPGA Tour card.

READ: Bianca Pagdanganan cheers Asian Games teammate Yuka Saso on her way to historic win; Yuka Saso answers in Filipino and Japanese in interview after breakthrough win

A clip posted by LPGA through Twitter showed Saso’s wholesome reaction given the on-the-spot situation.

“I get LPGA? Are you kidding me?” said Saso as the membership details were handed down to her.

READ: Sports superstars, diplomats, politicians greet Filipino golfing champ Yuka Saso

Aside from the LPGA, other reports disclosed that Saso, after a consultation with her parents Masakazu and Fritzie, had accepted the membership with a five-year exemption.

READ: Saso wins US Women’s Open; a ‘great day’ in PH sports — Palace; VP Leni on Saso’s win: ‘Iba talaga ang husay at puso ng kabataang Pinoy’

Commonly known as the “Popov Rule,” derived from the situation of 2020 AIG Women’s British Open winner Sophia Popov, the LPGA in February granted non-members a five-year exemption instead of two years.

This was the case of Popov, who was only eligible for a two-year exemption at that time.

Aside from Popov, South Korean golfer Kim A-lim also has a two-year exemption after winning the 75th US Women’s Open last December and eventually accepted membership for 2021.

READ: Yuka Saso to work hard for Olympic gold

Per Golf Digest, Saso, the pride of San Ildefonso, Bulacan, is also the first recepient of the “Popov Rule.”

“During the off-season, the LPGA reviewed the rule and changed it to allow members or non-members alike to get the full five years,” stated Gold Digest.

READ: Pinoy pride Yuka Saso hopes to meet idol Rory McIlroy

 
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