Yuka Saso triumphs in the U.S. Women's Open

At the end of four days marked by a delicate balance, it's Yuka Saso who clinches the U.S. Women’s Open (with a prize pool of 12 million dollars)

by Andrea Gussoni
Yuka Saso triumphs in the U.S. Women's Open
© Getty Images Sport - Sarah Stier / Staff

At the end of four days marked by a delicate balance, it's Yuka Saso who clinches the U.S. Women’s Open (with a prize pool of 12 million dollars). The Japanese golfer triumphs in the historic Major, established back in 1946, thanks to a solid final round that allows her to maintain her lead on the leaderboard, taking advantage of the off day of her closest rivals.

Yuka Saso, results

Saso finishes the day with a solid -2 (5 birdies, 1 bogey, 1 double bogey), concluding the competition with a total score of -4 (276 strokes). She secures a three-stroke lead over her compatriot Hinako Shibuno and four strokes over Americans Ally Ewing and Andrea Lee.

It's noteworthy that only the two Japanese players finished the event with scores below par. On the par 70 course at Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA, in fifth position with a score of +1, we find Thai golfer Arpichaya Yubol, followed closely by her compatriots Atthaya Thitkul and Wichanee Meechal, as well as Japanese player Ayaka Furue, all trailing by just one stroke.

Ninth place and the top ten close with a score of +3, held by Australian Minjee Lee and Japanese players Rio Takeda and Sakura Koiwai. Japan shines brightly with five golfers in the top ten, capitalizing on the surprising absence of big names who failed to make the cut after the second round.

For Saso, the 22-year-old Filipino-Japanese, this marks her fourth professional victory and her second U.S. Open title after her triumph as a youngster in 2021. Born in San Ildefonso, in the province of Bulacan, to a Filipino mother and Japanese father, Yuka Saso began playing golf at the age of eight.

She participated in the women's team event and the individual tournament at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, held from August 23 to 26 at the Pondok Indah Golf Course. There, she first won gold alongside Bianca Pagdanganan and Lois Kaye Go in the team event, and then secured another victory with the first-ever individual gold for the Philippines in a women's event at the Games.

Transitioning to the professional ranks in November 2019, in June 2021, she became the first Filipino to win a major golf tournament with her victory at the 76th edition of the U.S. Open, held at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

She overcame favorites Lexi Thompson and Nasa Hataoka, rallying from an initial deficit with two par saves followed by a decisive birdie on the third hole. She made her debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the age of 20, where she finished in 9th place in the women's individual tournament with a score of 274 (-10).

Possessing dual citizenship, in November 2021, she announced her decision to renounce her Filipino citizenship to retain only her Japanese citizenship, in accordance with a Japanese law requiring dual citizens from birth to choose only one citizenship by the age of twenty-two.