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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.