Yuka Saso beat Nasa Hataoka in a playoff to claim the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open championship.
Saso, a 19-year-old native of the Philippines, posted a final-round 73, highlighted by birdies on two of her final three holes to catch Hataoka and pass a struggling Lexi Thompson, who held a five-stroke lead at the turn but closed in 41, bogeying the final hole to drop into solo third.
“I don’t know what’s happening in the Philippines right now, but I’m just thankful that there’s so many people in the Philippines cheering for me,” said Saso, who becomes the first major champion, male or female, from the Philippines.
“I don’t know how to thank them. They gave me so much energy. I want to say thank you to everyone.”
The win earned Saso $1 million, along with immediate membership onto the LPGA Tour and a five-year exemption.
2021 U.S. Women’s Open
Top-5 Leaders: Round 4
Pos-Player-To Par (Rd 4)
1. Yuka Saso -4 (+1)
2. Nasa Hataoka -4 (-4)
3. Lexi Thompson -3 (+3)
4. Megan Khang -2 (-2)
4. Shanshan Feng -2 (-1)