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Saso favored in world tilt

SAN DIEGO, California — Yuka Saso chases the one crown that got away last year as the Fil-Japanese leads a 43-strong Philippine contingent starting its campaign in the IMG Academy Junior World golf championships in 10 different courses around this coastal state.

Saso, now among Asia’s top female junior players, returns to the 15-18 years division competition at Torrey Pines North as one of the favorites a year after she blew a four-stroke lead in the final round and settled for third place.

The 16-year-old Saso spearheads a solid PH challenge in the centerpiece age bracket that also counts the multi-titled Bernice Ilas and boys bets Luis Miguel Castro and Ryan Abdon who showed has shown a lot of promise in several pro stints.

“That loss is behind me now. It’s good that I have another chance and hopefully I’ll do better this time,” said Saso, who, after the heartbreak in San Diego, went on to post significant feats including a semifinal stint in the US Women’s Amateur and leading the country to a sweep of the individual and team events at the World Junior Girls Championship.

Also tipped to contend carrying the colors of the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines and its main sponsor Philippine Airlines as official carrier are Sophia Blanco and Annyka Cayabyab in the girls 13-14 years, Eagle Ace Superal in the girls 11-12 years, and Precious Zaragosa in the girls 6 years and under.

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