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Yuka Saso wins second US Women’s Open crown

YUKA Saso soared on the back nine to claim her second US Women’s Open title on Sunday, shooting a two-under-par 68 for a three-shot win at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania.

Saso finished with a four-under par total of 276, securing her second LPGA tour title three years after her first US Open victory playing for the Philippines at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

She joins South Koreans Pak Se-ri and Chun In-gee as the only players to win majors as their first two LPGA titles. At 22, Saso is the youngest player to win the US Women’s Open twice.

Despite a four-putt double-bogey at the par-three sixth, Saso rebounded with birdies on four holes in a five-hole stretch from the 12th through the 16th, moving away from a trio of overnight co- leaders, including Australian Minjee Lee. .

Japan’s Hinako Shibuno, 2019 British Open Women’s champion, finished second with a two-over-par 72 to finish at one-under 279.

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Shibuno was one stroke ahead of co-leader Andrea Lee and American Ally Ewing. Ewing climbed the leaderboard with a four-under 66, while Lee struggled with a five-over 75.

Co-leader Wichanee Meechai of Thailand in the third round shot a 77 to finish in a group at 282. Two-time major winner Minjee Lee had a tough round of 78 and fell to a group at 283.

Australian Lee maintained a two-shot lead through nine holes despite not finding a fairway on the front nine. As her mistakes piled up, however, Saso found her rhythm, sinking a 10-foot birdie putt at the 12th and taking the solo lead with a birdie at the par-five 13th.

Saso when she still represented the Philippines

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Saso added birdies at the 15th and 16th and drove the green at the short par-four 16th. She remained in control even after a three-putt bogey at the 17th, finishing with an excellent chip for a two-putt par at the 18th to secure the win.

“I just tried to be patient. I think that’s what you need to win a major like that,” said Saso, now the fourth player, male or female, to win a golf major representing Japan.

In 2021, Saso played for the Philippines, where she was born, but has since opted for Japanese citizenship, which reflects her father’s nationality.

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