Pro golfer Yuka Saso vowed to provide inspiration to Philippine sports in the light of the mounting challenges it faces brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Patuloy po akong magbibigay ng karangalan sa ating bansa. Mabuhay ang atletang Pilipino,” said the 19-year-old Saso in her short acceptance speech from Japan after being recognized with the Athlete of the Year honor, Saturday during the San Miguel Corporation-Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Awards Night at the TV5 Media Center.
Saso, 19, considered her second Athlete of the Year Award in the last three years as a big honor to her career and family.
The golfer born in Sta. Maria, Bulacan received the same award from the country’s oldest media organization headed by its President and Manila Bulletin sports editor Tito S. Talao in 2018. She shared it with fellow golfers Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go, along with Olympic silver medal winner Hidilyn Diaz and Asian Games gold medalist Margielyn Didal.
But this was her first as a professional.
Her first career win took place just two events into her career as she took down the NEC Karuizawa 72.
More money finishes came that landed her the top spot with almost P50-million for the season.
“Maraming salamat sa Philippine Sportswriters Association sa pagbigay at pagkilala sa akin bilang Athlete of the Year ulit,” she added.
Saso currently campaigns in the rich Japan LPGA Tour and is eyeing to clinch a spot in the coming Tokyo Olympics as she is currently ranked no. 44 in the world.