Saso finishes tied at 6th in Lotte Championship

Filipino golfer Yuka Saso settled for a joint sixth finish in the Lotte Championship on Sunday (Philippine time) at the Kapolei Golf Club in Oahu, Hawaii.

The 19-year-old Saso scored two-under par 70 in the final round to finish the tournament with 19-under par 269, as she shared the sixth spot with South Korean Jenny Shin, Taiwanese Wei Ling Hsu, and American Sarah Schemelzel.

Playing in her third Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) event on sponsor’s exemption, Saso started to gain momentum with a three-under par through 12 holes, but incurred a double bogey on 13.

Yuka Saso of the Philippines plays her second shot on the second hole during the final round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship at Kapolei Golf Club on April 17, 2021 (April 18 in Manila) in Kapolei, Hawaii. AFP PHOTO

The 2020 Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Athlete of the Year awardee, though, redeemed herself with four straight pars and a birdie on 18 for the sixth place finish.

Saso held the clubhouse lead after the first two rounds with her 16-under par 128, and slid to the third spot with a one-under par 71 in the third round on Saturday.

South Korean-born and Kiwi Lydia Ko, the world no. 11, ruled the event with her bogey-free seven-under par 65 for a total of 28-under par 260, as she won her 16th LPGA title, but her first only since the 2018 Mediheal Championship.

Nonetheless, this is still a milestone for Saso, who finished inside the top 10 for the first time in three LPGA starts.

The 2018 Asian Games double gold and 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medalist finished at joint 13 in the US Women’s Open last December, and 50th in the ANA Inspiration two weeks ago.