Asian Games golf champion Saso tops money list in rookie season in Japan

Yuka Saso won almost 94 million yen in her rookie season in Japan.© JLPGA
Yuka Saso won almost 94 million yen in her rookie season in Japan.© JLPGA

Manila, Philippines, December 1, 2020: The Philippines’ 2018 Asian Games golf champion Yuka Saso completed a sensational rookie season in Japan by finishing on top of the money list.

The 19-year-old Saso played in 14 tournaments in her first year on the Japan Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour and won almost 94 million yen. Her final tally was 93,891,170 yen (USD 900,000) as the season wrapped up on Sunday, November 29.

She won back-to-back tournaments early in the season and had a tour-high eight Top 10 finishes to make her mark on the women’s pro circuit just two years after winning individual and team gold as an amateur at the 18th Asian Games at Pondok Indah Golf Club in Jakarta.

“I learned a lot and I’m grateful for it,” Saso told the Daily Tribune in Manila. “I still need a lot of tournaments.”

Saso’s year is not over as she is flying to the United States to compete in the 75th U.S. Women’s Open at the Champions Golf Club in Houston, Texas from December 10-13.

“I have time to prepare until the opening of the U.S. Women’s Open, so I need to be careful not to be hit by the coronavirus,” she added.

Saso will be joining United States-based Asian Games gold medal-winning teammate Bianca Pagdanganan in the USD 5.5 million event.

As well as winning the most prizemoney in Japan, Saso finished second in the Mercedes Rankings with 1,146.85 points and second again in the scoring average with 70.1750 shots per round in her total 45 rounds over the season.