Yuka Magic is in full swing.
Yuka Saso has made history as the first-ever Filipino to win a major championship in US PGA or LPGA. She took down the 2021 US Women’s Open via a playoff against Japan’s Nasa Hataoka at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California, Monday morning (Manila time).
“First, I would like to thank my family. I wouldn’t be here without them,” an emotional Saso said after the win.
“To my sponsor who helped me, I’m very thankful. To all my friends and fans back in the Philippines and in Japan, I’m really thankful. I hope I could do more better and keep this up.”
Needing a birdie to take it all three times prior, the 2018 Asian Games made no mistake in that final shot to win the sudden death at No. 9.
Hanaoka and Saso needed this one-hole battle since nothing separated the two after the aggregate of the two-hole playoff, as both parred Nos. 9 and 18.
The two actually played catch-up all day long as USA’s Lexi Thompson built a five-shot lead heading into the backside.
Two double bogeys in holes No. 2 and 3 then sent Saso down to fifth place. But Thompson missed several fairways at the turn, leaving the door open for the 19-year-old and the rest of the field.
Back-to-back birdies in the 16th and 17th brought the Filipino back in contention, and that was where everything started to look up.
With inches to cover for the No. 18, Saso barely missed the winning shot. She then had to tackle the playoff with Hataoka.
Saso brought home $1,000,000 for winning the tournament, approximately P47,706,500 while also giving her entry into the US LPGA Tour for five years.
The result also starts to effectively seal her place in the Olympics in August.