Saso drops to No. 8 but remains on Olympic track

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Saso drops to No. 8 but remains on Olympic track
Yuka Saso of Japan plays her shot from the 14th tee during the first round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer at Seaview Bay Course on June 07, 2024 in Galloway, New Jersey.
Hunter Martin / Getty Images / AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Reigning US Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso slipped two spots from her career-tying best of sixth in the women’s world golf rankings following a missed cut at last week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey. Despite this, she remains Japan’s top player for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris.

Meanwhile, Ayaka Furue has gained ground, posting a strong joint runner-up finish at ShopRite, earning her valuable points and allowing her to overtake former frontrunner Nasa Hataoka for the other coveted spot in the Quadrennial Games.

The qualification period for the women’s golf competition in the Paris Games ends on June 24, following the conclusion of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. With the Olympics approaching, players are eager to perform well in this week’s Meijer Classic and the Women’s PGA.

But Saso has opted to skip the LPGA event in Michigan to prepare for the year’s third major, scheduled for June 20-23 at Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish, Washington.

The Paris Olympics will mark Saso's second time competing in the Games. She represented the Philippines in 2021 in Tokyo. However, after electing to adopt Japanese citizenship following the Tokyo Games, the ICTSI-backed Saso will now represent Japan.

Women’s golf competition in the Olympics will be held from August 7-10 at Le Golf National.

The Olympic field is restricted to 60 players for each of the men’s and women’s competitions. The International Golf Federation is utilizing the official world golf rankings to determine eligibility.

The Top 15 world-ranked players will be eligible for the Olympics, with a limit of four players from a given country. 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 already have two or more players among the Top 15.

Meanwhile, Bianca Pagdanganan and Dottie Ardina are poised to represent the Philippines in the Paris Games. Pagdanganan is well-placed at No. 35 in the Olympic ranking, while Ardina is confident of maintaining her spot at No. 55, aiming for a dream appearance in the Quadrennial Games.

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