FILIPINO-Japanese golfer Yuka Saso did not win a medal in the just-concluded Tokyo Olympic Games, but her experience there has taught her a lot and something she now looks to build on.
Ms. Saso, 20, born to a Filipino mother and Japanese father, finished her Olympic campaign tied for ninth place in the field of 60 top-class women’s golfers in proceedings held at the Kasumigaseki Country Club.
While she landed outside of the podium, her finish carried much more significance considering she fought all the way from the back of the pack after struggling in the first round.
Reigning US Women’s Open champion Ms. Saso scored a 3-over 74 in the first 18 holes of the women’s individual stroke play, which was marred by five bogeys, sending her tied for 47th place.
But Ms. Saso was undeterred and kept improving as the tournament progressed, managing to move to 34th place after the second round and then to 20th on the penultimate day.
In the last round, the Philippine bet went out swinging, going 6-over in a seven-hole stretch and made five birdies and an eagle at the drivable par-4 17th, which she reached in two before making a short putt.
Ms. Saso ended up with a 10-under 274 total, seven shots behind American gold medalist Nelly Korda and three shots out of a medal.
In assessing her performance, Ms. Saso took pride in what she was able to do, underscoring that while she did not go on and win a medal, the experience from the Olympics should only serve her well moving forward.
“It felt really good to end that way, this is really a good (Olympic) experience and maybe for my next tournaments, I can keep it going,” Ms. Saso was quoted as saying by the National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP).
Ms. Saso is now set to resume her professional career where she is currently ranked number 10 in the Ladies Professional Golf Association. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo