By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Yuka Saso birdied her last two and posted the day’s best of five-under-par 67 to clinch third in the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio in Boca Raton, Florida on Sunday.
The 20-year-old Fil-Japanese shot six birdies against a lone bogey on the par-4 seventh hole to finish with a four-round total of 12-under 276, just two strokes behind eventual champion Lydia Ko.
Saso had earlier rounds of 67, 70 and 72.
Starting the final round four shots behind third-round leader Ko, Saso managed to save par after two errant shots and averaged a driving distance of 280 yards.
So pocketed $133,664 cash prize (around P6.8 million) for her feat, which was her best performance so far since winning the US Women’s Open Champion in June last year.
It was also a slight improvement from her sixth place finish at last week’s Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions in Orlando, Florida that saw her pocket roughly P3,270,000.
The reigning Asian Games champion now has more than P10 million in earnings in just two LPGA events.
Meanwhile, Ko maintained her poise, carding a fourth-round 69 to clinch the title with a 14-under 274 total.
The world No. 3 went home with the $300,000 champion’s purse (around P15.3 million).
Daniel Kang came in second after shooting a 68 for 275.
Completing the Top 5 were Charley Hull (68) and Celine Boutier (69), who tied for fourth with 277.