By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Golfer Yuka Saso will be carrying the Japanese flag starting this season in the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) Tour.
According to her profile at the LPGA website, the Fil-Japanese golfer will represent Japan instead of the Philippines ahead of her stint in the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions in Orlando, Florida on Thursday.
Born in Bulacan to a Filipina mother and a Japanese father, Saso announced her decision to choose Japanese nationality last November to follow the Japanese nationality law.
The said law states that dual citizens must choose their nationality by the age of 22.
Saso will turn 22 in June next year.
With this, Saso’s last stint under the Philippine flag in the LPGA was the CME Group Tour Championship last November where she finished 48th.
She also last donned the Philippine colors in the LPGA of Japan Tour in the Toto Japan Classic also last November where she finished tied at 22nd.
Despite these, Saso said she is still proud to be a Filipino.
“Whichever I choose, I am both Japanese and Filipino. It is in my heart,” Saso said in an interview last November.
The National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP), the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) that has continuously supported Saso had already expressed their support to Saso’s decision and thanked her for bringing glory to the country.
Saso represented the country at the Tokyo Olympics last year where she finished joint ninth. She also bagged two gold medals in the 2018 Asian Games and won the historic US Women’s Open title last year carrying the Philippine colors.