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Philippine teen Saso edges Hataoka in playoff to win US Women’s Open

Philippine teenager Yuka Saso birdied the third playoff gap to beat Japan’s Nasa Hataoka and win the US Women’s Open at Olympic Club on Sunday.

Saso, 19, shook off two early double bogeys, coming again with late birdies at 16 and 17 in a two-over 73 to thrust herself right into a playoff with a four-under complete of 280 for 72 holes.

As in a single day chief Lexi Thompson pale, Hataoka carded a final-round 68, however after each she and Saso parred each holes of the two-hole mixture playoff, it was Saso who got here up with a birdie on the sudden-death third gap.

Saso matched South Korean Park In-bee because the youngest winners in the championship’s historical past at 19 years, 11 months and 17 days, and earned her LPGA tour membership.

“I don’t know what’s happening in the Philippines right now, but I’m just thankful that there’s so many people in the Philippines cheering for me,” said Saso, whose professional resume included two Japan LPGA victories but no wins on the US LPGA tour.

“I do not know the way to thank them. They gave me a lot power. I need to say thanks to everybody.”

Saso had held the 36-hole lead and started the day one shot off Thompson’s lead. But she was in trouble early with double bogeys at the second and third.

“I used to be really upset,” she said. “My caddie talked to me, stated there’s nonetheless many holes to go — simply maintain doing what I used to be doing the previous couple of days and belief the method.”

Saso was two-under the rest of the way, and had a long birdie putt to win at the 72nd hole. It didn’t drop, but she rattled in the par putt to force the playoff.

– Thompson collapse –

Thompson, seeking a second career major to go with her 2014 ANA Inspiration title, was five strokes up on the front nine and remained four up with eight to play.

A double bogey at 11 signalled the start of a slide and her bogey at 14 saw her lead down to two.

Unable to take advantage of the par-five 16th, she missed a five-foot par putt at the par-five 17th to fall into a tie for first.

At the 18th, Thompson was in the fairway but her approach found the front greenside bunker and she left a 10-foot putt to save par, and make the playoff, two feet short.

“That’s what this golf course can do to you,” stated Thompson of the imposing par-71 Lake Course at Olympic, which has hosted 5 males’s US Opens however had by no means earlier than hosted a girls’s main.

She completed with a four-over par 75 that left her alone in third on 281.

“And that’s what I’ve said all week. Overall, I’d be the first one to tell you that I hit some bad golf shots (down the stretch) and I deserved it,” Thompson added, “but it’s golf.”

Hataoka appeared an unlikely title challenger because the day started. She was six photographs off the lead and got here inside a whisker of finishing the best final-round rally in US Women’s Open historical past.

She began with a birdie on the first, and rebounded from a double bogey on the sixth with birdies on the seventh and ninth.

After a bogey at 11 had her seven photographs off the tempo, the 22-year-old birdied 13, 14 and 16 — the place she rolled in a breaking putt to pull inside one.

Two pars to end made her the primary in the clubhouse on 280, and it wasn’t lengthy till she was joined there by Saso.

It was Hataoka’s fourth LPGA tour playoff and her second in a serious, however in each she has come up empty.

“On the first (major championship) playoff I had to wait over an hour, so I was kind of excited,” Hataoka stated of her near-miss on the 2018 Women’s PGA Championship. “It got me all excited and uptight.

“But this one because it was instantly, I made a decision I’d simply be relaxed, then simply maintain doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and this was the consequence.”


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