Yuka Saso ends Lotte championship at joint 6th

Beatrice Go
Yuka Saso ends Lotte championship at joint 6th

BREAKTHROUGH. Teen golfer Yuka Saso impresses in her first tournament in Hawaii.

Photo from LPGA

After leading in the first half of the tournament, Yuka Saso falters but nails her highest US LPGA finish

Yuka Saso may have missed the chance to bag the 2021 Lotte Championship title, but she still managed to reach a career milestone with a joint 6th finish in a US LPGA event.

Saso fired a 2-under 70 to cap off her stint with a 19-under 269 total in the tournament ruled by New Zealand’s Lydia Ko on Saturday, April 17 (Sunday, April 18, Manila time), at the Kapolei Golf Club in Oahu, Hawaii.

The Filipina teen golf sensation had hoped to stay on track of her maiden US LPGA title bid after leading in the first half of the tournament, but her double bogey in No. 13 cost her the top spot.

Veteran golfers like Inbee Park, who nailed a 63 for a joint 2nd spot, overtook the 19-year-old Filipina in the standings.

Ko sustained her lead from the 3rd round to bag the title 7 strokes ahead of joint 2nd placers Park, Sei Young Kim, Leona Maguire, and Nelly Korda.

The former world No. 1 Ko recorded a second straight 65 in the final round to win her 16th LPGA title with a 28-under 260 total.

Saso, the 2018 Asian Games gold medalist, finished tied with Taiwanese Wei-Ling Hsu, Korean Jenny Shin, and American Sarah Schmelzel.

The Philippine Sportswriter’s Association (PSA) 2020 Athlete of the Year participated in the event on her first visit to Hawaii, thanks to a sponsors’ exemption.

Saso is a regular on the LPGA of Japan Tour, but she finished in the top 15 at last year’s US Women’s Open. She is still on the hunt for her first victory in the US-based LPGA Tour. –

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.