Yuka Saso won the US Women’s Open major thanks to a birdie on the third extra hole in a duel with Japanese golfer Nasa Hataoka on the morning of June 7, Hanoi time.

With this victory, Saso and Park Inbee hold the title of “the youngest champion in Women’s US Open history”, at the age of 19 years, 11 months and 17 days. She also went down in history as the first Filipino golfer to win a major. Adding Saso, the world golf recorded two Southeast Asian players crowned in the prestigious arena. Major in this area for the first time, in Thailand thanks to Ariya Jutanugarn at Women’s Open 2016.

Saso lifted the trophy on the Ho field on the morning of June 7, Hanoi time after the dramatic play-off.  Photo: AP

Saso lifted the trophy on the Ho field on the morning of June 7, Hanoi time after the dramatic play-off. Image: AP

US Women’s Open 2021 with a prize fund of $5.5 million is organized by the USGA on Lake par71 of Olympic Club in San Francisco.

In the last round, Saso scored +1 and Hataoka -3. Both scored -4 after 72 standard holes, then determined the final position by the extra hole because local star Lexi Thompson broke the match at the end of the field.

Early in the race, Thompson was at the top of the table with a -7, one stroke ahead of Saso, six strokes from Hataoka. After eight holes, Thompson was five strokes from his closest opponent. However, in the remaining 10 holes, she gradually lost her advantage, starting with a double bogey on hole 11. After this “crash” phase, Thompson added three bogeys, at holes 14, 17, and 18.

The “all-Asia play-off in the US major” alternates from hole 9 to 18, first determining the result according to the total score of two holes, if it is a draw, each hole will be counted. Saso beat Hataoka in the “sudden death” format – birdie with a 3.3-meter putt.

Yuka Saso birdie on extra hole to win US Women's Open

The last stroke helped Saso win the championship.

Saso received a million USD, Hataoka received 594,000 USD and Thompson received 381,974 USD.

In addition to Saso and Hataoka, the US Open women’s major in the 76th tournament recorded five more Asian players finishing in the top 10, including Shanshan Feng, Jutanugarn, world number one Ko Jin Young, Xiyu Lin, Park Inbee.

Feng stood at T4 (score -2), the other at T7 (+1). Lin entered this group thanks to 67 strokes on closing day. This is also the ceiling of 18 holes in this year’s tournament.

The stadium is near Daly city, which is considered the “capital of Filipinos in America” ​​because of the large population of immigrants from this country.

“Right now I don’t know what’s going on in my hometown. And here, I am extremely grateful for the passionate support from my countrymen. They have helped me increase the spirit of determination to win,” Saso said at the ceremony receiving the Cup. and the bonus logo on the third attempt at the US Women’s Open. She was cut off the first occasion, then returned to T13 years ago.

Saso has been practicing golf since the age of eight. She won individual and team gold medals at the 2018 Asian Games hosted by Malaysia, the first time for the Philippines in this sport. Due to his personal schedule, Saso did not attend the last two SEA Games.

Saso turned professional in November 2019, choosing the Japan LPGA Tour as the starting point for more than a year and has won two trophies.

Quoc Huy

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