How Yuka Saso trained to become a US Women's Open champion

Published June 10, 2021, 3:13 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

Yuka Saso (AFP)

Filipino golfer Yuka Saso’s way to the top of the US Women’s Open was not without blood, sweat and tears.

The 19-year-old Saso has a laborious training schedule which was crafted and enforced by her Japanese father Masakazu, who even made his daughter sign a pledge promising not to hold a grudge against him for that.

The 2018 Asian Games double gold medalist’s training regimen was described in detail by Japanese media agency Kyodo News in a recent report.

Saso starts her day with a run at 5:30 a.m. followed by 10 sets of 50-meter and 100-meter sprints while wearing two-kilogram weights.

She then goes on with repetitive side step jumping for 30 minutes before having actual golf swings.

It doesn’t end there as she would perform squats with a 30-kilogram barbell and sometimes do swing training with a baseball bat with ankle weights or shadow boxing.

It all started when the then 13-year-old Saso was competing in a tournament in the United States. There, she saw a difference of about 50 yards in the distance she was hitting compared to a 17-year-old opponent.

Frustrated about herself, Saso set out on a mission to bring her game to the next level and pleaded for her father to set up her training regimen.

Years later, Saso’s rigorous preparations greatly helped her seize numerous titles and eventually the US Women’s Open championship.