Yuka Saso closed her rollercoaster of an LPGA comeback with a 3-under 67 for the final round, ending with 11-under 269 for 14th place in the 2021 Pelican Women’s Championship, Monday (Manila time) at the Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida.
In the end, the tour rookie grabbed an additional $27,253 (P1,359,638.54) but slipped down a notch in the Race to CME Globe rankings. She places 16th ahead of the year-end tournament next week.
The reigning US Women’s Open champion opened her campaign on a rough note on Thursday. Then a huge 6-under 64 on the following day gave her a chance to contend for her second LPGA title. However, Saso could not make her move on Saturday, stranding her at 8-under overall with an even-par for the third round.
Saso opened her day with a birdie again off No. 2, but needed to negate a dropped shot from No. 8 with another birdie on the following hole. The 20-year-old thus went into the turn with neither gained nor dropped shot.
Saso made her moves in the backside, as she took Nos. 11 and 12 on back-to-back birdies to gain her position inside the top 10.
Another birdie two holes after solidified her place in that circle with movements across the leaderboard. But a dropped shot on No. 15 pushed her back to 3-under for the day for the final score and position.
World no. 1 Nelly Korda has to survive a triple-bogey off No. 17 in regulation to win her fourth title of the year in a four-way play-off against Lydia Ko, Kim Sei-young, and Lexi Thompson. The American standout made moves towards ending the year as the women’s best. She also pocketed the $262,500 (P13,100,193.75) winner’s prize.
Korda eventually recovered on the sudden death after taking care of the par-4 No. 18 on three shots. The three others had to settle for pars as they handed the KPMG Championship winner her fourth win of the year.
Saso and the rest of the top golfers will meet for one last time this year in the LPGA tour for the 2021 CME Globe Championship. The tournament starts on Thursday, November 18 at the Tiburon Golf Club, 275 kilometers south in Naples.