Saso vows to get better, stronger
Yuka Saso

Saso vows to get better, stronger

( - November 30, 2020 - 1:22pm

MANILA, Philippines – Despite falling short of ending up on top of the Player of the Year derby, Yuka Saso said she’s thankful to be given the chance to launch her pro career on the LPGA of Japan Tour, guaranteeing to get better, stronger in the next season and beyond.

“I’ve learned a lot and I’m grateful for the opportunity (to play in the JLPGA),” said Saso after finishing tied for sixth in the circuit’s final tournament, the JLPGA Tour Championship Ricoh Cup, for 2020 in Miyazaki Sunday.

She wound up second in the Players’ (Mercedes) rankings to Ayaka Furue but topped the money list although the Tour said it would stage more tournaments early next year that would be included in the 2020 calendar to make up for the cancellation of a number of events this year due to the global health crisis.

But pending the announcement of the additional schedule, Furue emerged on top after 14 tournaments with 1371.78 points, deservedly on the strength of a strong finish that saw the 20-year-old Japanese score two victories (Itoen Ladies and Daio Paper Elleair Open) and finish runner-up (JLPGA Ricoh Cup) in the last three events.

Saso, who had lorded it over the field after nailing back-to-back victories at NEC Karuizawa and Nitori Ladies last August, yielded the lead briefly to Sakura Koiwai before reclaiming it with a second place finish in Toto Classic last month, settled for second with 1146.85 points with hopes of overcoming Furue’s lead if and when the Tour resumes the season early next year.

The ICTSI-backed Saso said she looks forward to playing in more tournaments to further raise the level of her game and keep her competitive spirit although she stressed the need to be wary of the threat of the virus that continues to beleaguer the rest of the world.

“I need a series of tournaments as a golfer but I also want to be careful (not to get infected by coronavirus),” said the 19-year-old rising star, who also posted with the most number of Top 10 finishes with eight.

She also ended up No. 1 on the average number of birdies category with 3.911 norm, tied Furue for the most number of eagles made (six), finished No. 1 on the most number of birdies made (176) and on the par break rate (22.4691).

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