Yuka Saso Makes History with Second U.S. Women’s Open Victory

Yuka Saso Makes History with Second U.S. Women’s Open Victory

Yuka Saso created history by becoming a two-time U.S. Women’s Open champion, solidifying her place in the record books as the first Filipina to win the Women’s Open in 2021 and subsequently becoming the first from Japan to claim victory in women’s golf’s biggest event. The 22-year-old displayed a masterful performance at Lancaster Country Club, carding a 2-under 68. Saso’s impressive four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine, coupled with a series of collapses from her competitors, allowed her to win with ease. She finished at 4-under 276, clinching the victory by three shots over Hinako Shibuno.

A Young Champion Among Minimal Competition

At just 22 years and 347 days old, Saso became the youngest two-time champion in U.S. Women’s Open history. She and Shibuno were the only two players to finish under par, marking the fewest number of players in red figures in the Women’s Open in a decade. Despite her young age, Saso has a strong track record, with her only other LPGA Tour victory coming at the Women’s Open at Olympic Club in 2021, alongside two titles on the Japan LPGA.

Andrea Lee, who started the day as one of the leaders, failed to mount a challenge against Saso’s dominance. A crucial miss on the easy 16th hole followed by a bogey on the 17th dashed Lee’s hopes of catching up. The final two groups on Sunday struggled, combining for 22-over par. Even accomplished players like Minjee Lee and Wichanee Meechai faced setbacks, with Minjee Lee squandering a three-shot lead on the front nine and Meechai succumbing to a triple bogey on the sixth hole.

Although Saso faced her fair share of challenges, including a costly four-putt double bogey on the sixth hole, she bounced back with a remarkable display of golf. Her impressive run included crucial birdies and precise shots when it mattered the most. Saso’s ability to refocus after early mistakes and deliver under pressure showcased her resilience and determination to emerge victorious.

Historical Significance of Saso’s Win

Saso’s victory not only made her the first two-time champion in U.S. Women’s Open history but also put her in a unique position as a dual citizen representing both the Philippines and Japan. Her decision to switch citizenship before turning 21 allowed her to lead a strong contingent from Japan, with five players finishing in the top 10. The victory earned Saso $2.4 million from the $12 million purse, the largest in women’s golf history. Additionally, her win positioned her for a potential return to the Olympics after representing the Philippines in the 2021 Tokyo Games.

Yuka Saso’s triumph at the U.S. Women’s Open not only solidified her status as a rising star in women’s golf but also made a significant impact in the history of the sport. Her resilience, skill, and ability to perform under pressure were on full display, setting her apart from her competitors. With this historic win, Saso has etched her name in the annals of golf history and paved the way for future success on the international stage.

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