FIL-JAPANESE Yuka Saso posted a strong closing round of five-under par 66 to secure a joint 17th placing in the Los Angeles Open at the Wilshire Country Club in California on Sunday.

Bouncing back from her lackluster 74 the other day, Ms. Saso gunned down four birdies in the last eight holes to highlight a hot 33-33 performance that lifted her 32 spots up in the final standings.

The 20-year-old Ms. Saso, who mixed three birdies with two bogeys in the first 10 holes, banked $18,461 (about P968,000) for this finish, which marked  a big improvement from her 56th place outing in last week’s Lotte Championship.

The 2018 Asian Games double gold medalist missed six fairways but reached 14 greens in regulation and took only 27 putts to complete her round.

Ms. Saso finished the tournament at three-under 281, falling short of a Top 10 finish by two strokes.

The reigning US Women’s Open titlist wound up 12 shots behind Japanese Nasa Hataoka, who closed out with 67 for 269 and a five-stroke win over Australian Hannah Green (274 after a final 68).

Ms. Hataoka collared her sixth LPGA Tour title a week after missing the cut in the windy Lotte event in Hawaii. — Olmin Leyba