THIS JUST IN: The Philippines’ teen golf star Yuka Saso has won the 76th United States Women’s Open Championship, becoming the first Filipina to earn the title.
The 19-year-old Filipino-Japanese golfer also made history as the youngest champion of the tournament, tying with Inbee Park of South Korea.
Yuka Saso is the first player from the Philippines to have her name engraved on the Harton S. Semple Trophy of the US Golf Association (USGA) after Princess Mary Superal won the 2014 U.S. Girls’ Junior title.
Yuka Saso’s dramatic playoff win against Japan’s Nasa Hataoka was executed at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California, on June 6, 2021 (June 7 Philippine Standard Time).
Saso sealed her surprise win after converting a 12-foot birdie putt on the first sudden-death playoff hole (No. 9) after making back-to-back pars in the two-hole aggregate playoff.
The Filipino teen was not favored to win the tourney as she entered the final round two strokes behind American champion Lexi Thompson. Saso “quickly became a seeming afterthought with back-to-back double bogeys on Holes 2 and 3. Her front-nine 38 left her five strokes behind Thompson. But Saso never lost focus as Thompson started to crumble. Consecutive birdies on the par-5 16th and 17th holes tied her with Hataoka and Thompson,” recounts USGA’s David Shefter in his report.
USGA social media announced Yuka Saso’s historic win in the Filipino language.
“Mabuhay Yuka Saso! Ang bagong kampeon ng US Women’s Open!”
“I don’t know what’s happening in the Philippines right now, but I’m just thankful that there’s so many people in the Philippines cheering for me,” said Saso in the USGA post-game interview.
“I don’t know how to thank them. They gave me so much energy. I want to say thank you to everyone,” adds Saso, named the Philippines’ Athlete of the Year for being an inspiration to Filipinos during the Covid-19 outbreak as she won two back-to-back titles at the Japan Ladies Professional Golf Association (JLPGA), her first at the NEC Karuizawa Championship which made her the first Filipina golfer to win the Japan LPGA tour and the second at the Nitori Ladies Golf Tournament.
As the USGA Champion Yuka Saso receives the following:
- Mickey Wright Medal
- Custody of the Harton S. Semple Trophy for one year
- Exemption from qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Women’s Opens
- Exemptions into the next five AIG Women’s British Opens, KPMG Women’s PGA Championships, Amundi Evian Championships, and ANA Inspirations
- USD$1 million check
19-YEAR-OLD MAJOR CHAMPION!
— U.S. Women's Open (USGA) (@uswomensopen) June 6, 2021
WATCH Yuka Saso’s hits that were captured by television cameras that sealed her win as the first Filipino champion of the US Women’s Open and SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below!
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