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Yuka Saso’s US Open Win will have a Massive Boost for Philippine Golf?


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20-year-old Philippines born Yuka Saso became an instant superstar after surprising a field of veteran golfers and former tour winners at the US Women’s Open a few weeks ago.

 

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Yuka Saso with her Dad and Caddie at the US Open

 

According to Ramon Bonilla Head of Sports at the Manila Bulletin, “The San Ildefonso, Bulacan player put the country on the sporting map through her wits, unmatched skill and pure dedication to a game that is relatively concealed from the shadows of basketball and boxing.”

 

Saso’s win created a noise that reverberated across the globe, a victory that is worthy of  the attention of even golf legend Rory McIlroy, to whom she copied her swing.

 

Saso even received a congratulatory message from President Duterte who is a golf enthusiast on his rest days back in Davao City.

 

May you remain determined as you aim higher, humbled even with all fulfillments… success and triumphant as you raise our flag in future competitions,” the President said.

 

New mission.

 

The stakes get high as you come away victorious from any major international competitions.

 

Remember the effect Bernard Langer had on German golf, or Anika Sorenstam had in Sweden too. Saso will now surely inspire numerous young Pinoy’s to take up the sport too.

 

Aside from pocketing a cool $1 million (P48 million) and securing five-year membership on the LPGA Tour, a privilege that entails more cash, exposure to attract big-time sponsors, and chance to add more accolades to her young career, Saso also jumped to eight spot in the world rankings.

 

Tokyo Beckons

 

In a country that starves for Olympic glory, golf could likely become the source of national pride when the Games begin.

 

Saso is almost assured of a spot in Tokyo due to her ranking. She could be joined in the women’s division by Bianca Pagdanganan should she stay consistent on her level of play before the list of qualified players comes out.

 

Juvic Pagunsan, veteran in the Asian and Japan Tour, already booked an Olympic berth after the international federation released the names of 60 participants in the men’s field.

 

All three of our athletes have real chances of podium finishes, if not even gold,” said Bones Floro, secretary general of the National Golf Association of the Philippines.

 

Bones Floro had all the confidence to tell the world that a Filipino could soon be an Olympic champion from a sport that is dominated by Americans and Koreans.

 

During the US Women’s Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California, Saso bested some of the top golfers in the world, including the No.1 women’s player Jin Young Ko of South Korea.

 

Big Filipino Group off to Tokyo

 

Saso and company could join the likes of world champion gymnast Caloy Yulo, pole vaulter EJ Obiena, weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and Elreen Ando, boxers Eumir Marcial, Irish Magno, Nesthy Petecio and Carlo Paalam, skateboarder Margielyn Didal, rower Criz Nievarez and taekwondo jin Kurt Barbosa to the Tokyo Games.

 

This contingent has its fair chance of winning the gold medal, an achievement not seen on the annals of Philippine sports history.

 

Saso returned for her first start as a full member of the LPGA at the KPMG Championship in Atlanta, Georgia, and she finished tied 21st earning another US$48,142 to add to the US$1 million she received at the US Open.

 

I am sure she must be excited of emulating Inbee Park who won gold at the last Olympics.

 

 

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