HEADLINE: GOLF- The 76th U.S. Women’s Open Championship, The Olympic Club, San Francisco, California- Fil-Japanese Yuka Saso crowned champion

Yuka Saso of the Philippines hits her tee shot on the ninth hole playoff against Nasa Hataoka of Japan during the final round of the 76th U.S. Women’s Open Championship at The Olympic Club on June 06, 2021 in San Francisco, California. / Sean M Haffey/Getty Images North America via AFP



MANILA, Philippines (Updated 8:20 a.m.) — Yuka Saso ruled the US Women’s Open after outlasting Nasa Hataoka in a sudden-death playoff in the final round at the Olympic Club in San Francisco on Sunday (Monday, Manila time).

Saso had a birdie putt in the ninth hole to take her first-ever LPGA title.

The Fil-Japanese had to dig herself out off of the rough with her second shot in the ninth to place herself in a position for the win.

Hataoka looked like she had the better tee shot when she went into the fairway while Saso settled for the rough.

The playoff came when Saso and Hataoka were knotted up at 4-under par after the 72nd hole.

Saso had to bounce back from two early double bogeys and recovered in the back nine.

At one point, Saso fell behind the leader by six shots but kept her focus.

The 19-year-old had her first chance to win it all in the eighteenth playoff hole when Hataoka missed a birdie and settled for a par putt.

But nerves seemed to get the better of her at that moment when she putted downhill and settled for the playoff-extending putt.

Saso is the first Filipino to win a major golf tournament and is tied for the youngest woman golf player ever to do so.

Erstwhile leader Lexi Thompson, who held a one-shot lead over Saso on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), settled for a third-place finish after going 4-over par in the final round.

Saso thus matched South Korean Park In-bee as the youngest winners in the championship’s history at 19 years, 11 months and 17 days, and earned her LPGA tour membership. – With a report from AFP

Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) – June 7, 2021 – 7:35am


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