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Saso gets LPGA Tour invites

The Philippine Star
Saso gets LPGA Tour invites
Yuka Saso

MANILA, Philippines — Though she fell short of her bid for an LPGA Tour card, Yuka Saso still gets the chance to slug it out with some of the world’s top players as she sees action in the ISPS Handa Vic Open in Victoria, Australia next week.

The 2018 Asian Games double gold medalist is one of the 13 sponsor’s invitees to the $1.1 million Feb. 6-9 event, which features the likes of Inbee Park, Daniella Darquea, Hanna Green, Maria Fassi, Celine Boutier, Laura Davies, Pornanong Phatlum, So Yeon Ryu, Cristie Kerr, Christina Kim, Jeong Eun Lee, Minjee Lee and Karrie Webb and Filipina Dottie Ardina.

The Fil-Japanese shotmaker is also in the roster of the Women’s Australian Open slated Feb. 13-16 in Grange, South Australia. The Aussie events are part of this year’s LPGA Tour calendar.

The twin events also serve as part of Saso’s buildup for her debut in the LPGA of Japan Tour, set to kick off in March and where she gained a full status late last year.

Meanwhile, the former two-time Philippine Ladies Open champion keeps her spot at No. 49 in the Olympic Games ranking as of this week although Fil-Am Clariss Guce has replaced Ardina for the other Philippine berth at No. 50. Ardina has been relegated to the first alternate spot though the women’s qualification period to earn OGR (Olympic Golf Ranking) points will still end on June 29.

The Olympic field is restricted to 60 players for each of the men’s and women’s competition with the top 15 world-ranked players gaining automatic spots in the Tokyo Games slated July 24-Aug. 9. Beyond the top 15, players will be eligible based on the world rankings with a maximum of two eligible players from each country that does not have two or more players among the top 15.

Miguel Tabuena, who debuted in the Rio Olympics in 2016, has moved to No. 58 in the men’s ranking but the other Pinoy hopeful, Angelo Que, remains at fifth alternate spot.

CELINE BOUTIER HANNA GREEN LAURA DAVIES
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