Saso back at World No. 6 ahead of Women’s PGA Championship

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Saso back at World No. 6 ahead of Women�s PGA Championship
Yuka Saso of Japan lines up a putt on the seventh green during the second round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer at Seaview Bay Course on June 08, 2024 in Galloway, New Jersey.
Drew Hallowell / Getty Images / AF

MANILA, Philippines – Yuka Saso has reclaimed her spot as World No. 6 despite skipping the recent Meijer LPGA Classic in Michigan, bolstering her confidence as she seeks back-to-back major championships in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship starting Thursday in Washington (Friday Manila time).

Saso matched her career-best ranking following a decisive victory at the US Women’s Open in Pennsylvania last month. However, she dropped two spots after missing the cut at the ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey the following week.

Choosing to skip the Meijer Classic to better prepare for another major championship, Saso managed to regain her position by overtaking Jin Young Ko and Rose Zhang, who slipped to Nos. 7 and 9, respectively, with Charley Hull grabbing the eighth spot.

Meanwhile, Nelly Korda, despite failing to advance in her second consecutive LPGA Tour event at the Meijer Classic after winning six of her first seven tournaments, remains World No. 1. Fellow American Lilia Vu closed in on Korda following a victory at Meijer, where she defeated Lexi Thompson and Grace Kim on the third playoff hole.

Defending Women’s PGA Championship titlist Ruoning Yin holds the No. 3 spot, followed by Celine Boutier and Hannah Green in that order.

Sponsored by ICTSI, Saso dreams of becoming World No. 1 and delivering an Olympic gold for the Philippines. However, while her world ranking ambitions are on track, her Olympic dream for the Philippines will not materialize since she switched her citizenship from Filipino to Japanese in 2021.

Saso will now lead Japan’s campaign in the Paris Olympics, with Ayaka Furue and Nasa Hataoka, ranked Nos. 20 and 21 respectively, vying for the other slot.

The qualification period for the women’s golf competition in the Olympics ends on June 24, following the conclusion of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, making this $10-million event crucial for Olympic hopefuls.

The Paris Olympics will mark Saso's second appearance at the Games. She represented the Philippines in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and tied for ninth place.

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

The Olympic field is restricted to 60 players for both the men’s and women’s competitions. The top 15 world-ranked players are eligible, with a limit of four players from any given country. Beyond the top 15, players will qualify based on world rankings, with a maximum of two players per country that does not already have two or more players in the top 15.

Meanwhile, Bianca Pagdanganan and Dottie Ardina are set 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.

Both Pagdanganan and Ardina are also competing in the Women’s PGA Championship, preparing for a showdown with the world’s best players. They also aim to build momentum and confidence as they approach the season’s third major and the upcoming Olympics.

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