Yuka Saso looks forward to Tokyo Olympics

Published June 28, 2021, 5:45 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Yuka Saso (AFP)

Filipino-Japanese golfer Yuka Saso finished with a final round of five-under par 67 that allowed her to tally a four-day total of 285 in the KPMG Women’s PGA Sunday (Monday in Manila) at the Highlands Course of the Atlanta Athletic Club in Atlanta, Georgia.

It was the best round for the 20-year old Saso that saw her convert an eagle on the par-5 12. She finished tied for 21st to 24th in the tournament won by Nelly Korda of the US.

Saso earned $48,142 prize money, or about P2.33 million.

The event came just three weeks after Saso ruled the US Women’s Open championship which she won following a three-hole playoff victory against Japan’s Nasa Hataoka last June 6.

Saso is the first golfer from the Philippines to win the US Women’s Open title, and matched the event record of Park In-bee of South Korea as the youngest winner in the championship’s history at 19 years, 11 months and 17 days. She also pocketed $1 million – approximately P48 million.

Following the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, where she also put together a 73, 70, 75 in the first three rounds, Saso had an appreciation post on her Instagram account @yukasaso_official.

“Incredibly well organized tournament you hosted @kpmgwomenspga thank you so much,” she said.

“It’s a privilege to be part of this great tournament. Thank you everyone who cheered and came to watch. Getting ready for the next tournament,” added Saso, a double gold medal winner in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia.

The two-time Philippine Sportswriter Association (PSA) Athlete of the Year is expected to make her Olympic debut in next month’s Tokyo Olympics. She is now at No. 8 in the world rankings.

As of posting time the Manila Bulletin has yet to receive a response from Saso’s management team from the ICTSI and the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour with regards to her schedule prior to the Games.

The women’s event in golf is set August 4 to 7, right after the men’s category scheduled July 29 to August 1 at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan.

Bianca Pagdanganan, who missed the cut in the Women’s PGA tournament, is likewise expected to compete in the Tokyo Olympics as she is at No. 42 in the world rankings of the International Golf Federation (IGF).

Meanwhile, Dottie Ardina made six bogey with just three birdies as she carded a final round of three-over par 75 to finish tied for 12th to 14th places at 283 in the tournament.

The 27-year-old Ardina finished tied with Sei Young Kim of South Korea and Thailand’s Wichanee Meechai at 283 – 14 shots behind the champion Nelly Korda of the US. Ardina earned a four-day paycheck of $75,343, or approximately P3.66 million.