FILIPINO-JAPANESE golfer Yuka Saso takes on a new challenge as she competes at the 45th AIG Women’s British Open from Aug. 19 to 22 in Scotland where she hopes to do well and continue to learn.
Twenty-year-old Ms. Saso, the number eight-ranked player in the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), is excited to compete in her debut in the major tournament happening at the Carnoustie Championship Course.
Speaking at the pre-tournament press conference on Tuesday, Ms. Saso, who is the reigning US Women’s Open champion, said she is expecting a tough challenge in the about-to-start tournament but is looking forward to it, seeing it as an opportunity to grow as a player and have fun.
“Obviously, major tournaments are very special for me. This home of golf will be challenging, but I’m really looking forward to it. I really like the weather, it’s really nice. I have met a lot of people and they gave me good advice and I am looking to have fun,” said Ms. Saso.
“It is also a privilege to be playing here. I hope to learn new things. I don’t usually play on Links course, but I hope to grow as a player here. This is a new challenge,” she added.
Ms. Saso, who was born in Bulacan to a Filipino mother and Japanese father, is coming off a top-15 finish at the Trust Women’s Scottish Open last week.
She had a strong start and finish but struggled in the middle rounds which did not help her cause.
At the Scottish Open, Ms. Saso wound up with a 7-under 281 total, 10 strokes behind winner Ryann O’Toole of the United States.
In the final standings, Ms. Saso was joined at 15th by Whitney Hillier (Australia), A Lim Kim (Korea), Gaby Lopez (Mexico), Kelsey MacDonald (Scotland), Leona Maguire (Ireland) and Jasmine Suwannapura (Thailand).
They each got $21,266, or around P1.063 million.
Prior to competing at the Scottish Open, Ms. Saso represented the Philippines in the recent Olympic Games in Tokyo, where she finished joint ninth place.
Ms. Saso tees off for the British Open on Thursday, grouped with Brooke Henderson of Canada and Lexi Thompson of the United States.
The AIG Women’s British Open is the last major tournament in the LPGA for 2021. Defending champion is Sophia Popov of Germany. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo