Not unlike fellow 19-year-old Paige Bueckers, Yuka Saso has taken over her sport on the biggest of stages. The young golf prodigy caught the eye of the sports world by riding an incredible six-stroke comeback on the back nine to winning the US Women’s Open golf championship at the Olympic Club in San Francisco on Sunday. Her victory in a dramatic a three-hole playoff secured Saso an entry in the history books as the first Filipino and the youngest player in tournament history to take home the trophy!
The young phenom experienced an outpouring of support and congratulatory messages from her fellow countrymen and -women as the first major champion from the Philippines. The fact that San Francisco has one of the largest Filipina communities of any city in the U.S. was just an added bonus.
I’m just thankful that there’s so many people in the Philippines cheering for me. I don’t know how to thank them. They gave me so much energy. I want to say thank you to everyone.Yuka Saso, after her first LPGA Tour victory
At 19 years, 11 months and 17 days lifted her first Major trophy in only her seventh start on the LPGA Tour (tying Inbee Park’s record from 2008 on the day). Among the many supporters was fellow Nike Golf athlete – and one of Yuka Saso’s primary role models – Rory McIlroy, who was flattered to hear that Saso modeled her swing after his and offered his encouragement. Saso brought the story full circle when she acknowledged her McIlroy during her post-victory speech on Sunday.