Yuka ends tied for 32nd in Arkansas

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
Yuka ends tied for 32nd in Arkansas
Yuka Saso
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Yuka Saso bungled her shot at redemption as she submitted a woeful five-over-par 76 closing card to plummet to joint 32nd after the final round of the LPGA NW Arkansas Championship Sunday in Rogers, Arkansas.

Just one shot off the pace to start the day, Saso stumbled with a double bogey and four bogeys against a lone birdie to finish the 54-hole event with a harmless eighth-under.

The Fil-Japanese ace, who shared the lead after a hot opening 64 and held second after a 65 in Round 2, wound up nine strokes off rookie winner Attaya Thitikul of Thailand. Attaya, 19, beat American Danielle Kang in the second playoff hole for the crown.

Saso earned $15,048 (over P800,000) for this finish, which extended her year-long struggles marred by seven missed cuts.

For Saso, it was a nightmarish ending after a dream start in the $2.3 million event.

The Tokyo Olympics veteran turned in 13 birdies and did not drop a single stroke in the first 36 holes of the Pinnacle Country Club to get into serious contention.

But her impeccable form in the first two rounds abandoned her in the final push, where she missed six fairways and 10 greens and struggled to save pars.

After a birdie on the second hole, the 21-year-old Fil-Japanese foundered the rest of the way, going over-par on Nos. 5, 8, 12 and 14.


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