By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Yuka Saso returns to action on Thursday when she competes in the HSBC Women’s World Championship at the Sentosa Golf Club, Tenjong Course in Singapore.
The 72-hole tournament, which offers $1.7 million total cash purse, is Saso’s fourth this season as she seeks to follow up her historic US Women’s Open victory last year.
Sixty-five players are entered in the tournament that include world No. 1 Jin Young Ko, former world No. 1 Lydia Ko, two-time winner Inbee Park and defending champion Hyo Joo Kim.
Saso is scheduled to tee off at 10:28 a.m. along with Jin and Ko.
The 20-year-old Fil-Japanese, who now represents Japan, has spent the past few weeks in the country to acclimatize to the Southeast Asian weather after a busy season in the United States.
She was able to relax and spend time with her relatives after being away for two years.
But it would be business as usual for the world No. 8 Saso as she targets the top podium.
She came close to another title at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio last Jan. 30 where she finished third.
Prior to that, she settled for sixth at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions also in Florida to jumpstart her season.
But her last tournament at the LPGA Drive On Championship at Crown Colony early February didn’t go well after missing the cut – no thanks to a quadruple bogey for 77 on the first round.
But Saso insists past is past.
“I personally take my tournaments week by week, not setting my goals that far. I’m not dwelling on that anymore. I’m taking the lessons from it and try to play my best golf in my next tournament,” Saso said during a press conference held in Manila last week.