Saso finishes joint ninth; Pagdanganan at 43rd

Published August 7, 2021, 4:54 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Yuka Saso (AFP)

Yuka Saso made an eagle putt on the 17th hole that highlighted her six-under 65 final round to finish in joint ninth in women’s golf of the Tokyo Olympics Saturday, August 7 at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama.

The 20-year-old Saso buried a long putt from about 15-feet, and then capped her Olympic debut with a fifth birdie of the day that gave her a four-day aggregate score of 274.

Saso, who also birdied on the par-5 fifth, and three consecutive on the back nine – 12, 13 and 14 – finished tied for ninth to 14th spots with five other golfers including Sei Young Kim and Jin Young Ko of South Korea, China’s Lin Xiyu, Nasa Hataoka of Japan and Nana Koerstz Madsen of Denmark.

It was the best round for the reigning US Women’s Open champion Saso after tallying 74, 68 and 67.

Saso and the five players finished the 72-hole event all at 10-under, seven shots behind gold medal winner Nelly Norda of the United States, the world No. 1 ranked player in women’s golf, who had a final round 69.

Korda, who was 17-under for the tournament for a total score of 267, won the title by one shot as Mone Inami of Japan and Lydia Ko of New Zealand finished regulation play tied at 268.

Inami downed the former world ranked No. 1 Ko – silver medal winner in the 2016 Rio Olympics – in a single-hole playoff to pocket the silver medal while the latter had the bronze medal.

It was still a courageous effort for both Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan – the other Filipina participant in this edition of the Olympics who finished 43rd to 45th – as first time Olympians.

As golf made its second straight appearance in the Summer Games following its return during the Rio Olympics, Saso and Pagdanganan, as well as Juvic Pagunsan were able to display their skills as members of the national team in the biggest stage in sports competition.