By WAYLON GALVEZ
Yuka Saso will be aiming for a second major title on US soil when she competes in the KPMG Women’s PGA championship scheduled June 24 to 27 at the Atlanta Athletic Club in John Creek, Georgia.
Fresh from a stirring comeback victory in the US Women’s Open championship two weeks ago, the 19-year-old Filipino-Japanese Saso will be among the favorites in the $4.5 million event.
Saso, who is being backed by ICTSI of Enrique Razon, said that her team, which includes her father Masakazu Saso, is still finalizing the schedule for the rest of June until July before the start of the Tokyo Olympics.
“Wala pang exact schedule (of upcoming events prior to the Tokyo Olympics) but outside of it I’m sure of the KPMG championship in Atlanta,” said Saso, who is No. 8 in the women’s world rankings of the International Golf Federation.
Saso became the first Filipina to capture the prestigious and oldest major championship, the US Women’s Open title last June 6 at Lake Course of The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California.
She defeated Nasa Hataoka of Japan in a three-hole playoff for the title.
Like the US Women’s Open event, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – its counterpart is the men’s PGA Championship – is also considered one of the five major championships in women’s golf.
The said tournament will also be crucial for Saso, a double gold medal winner in the Asian Games in Indonesia back in 2018, as she prepares for her Olympic debut.
The announcement of the 60 golfers – men’s and women’s – will come next week from the IGF based on the world rankings.
Bianca Pagdanganan, another Filipino who is also backed by ICTSI, is also in contention for a spot in the Tokyo Olympics in the women’s category, while veteran Juvic Pagunsan is vying for a slot in the men’s category.