Saso flies to Tokyo, skips LPGA major
MANILA, Philippines — Reigning US Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso has skipped the next LPGA major, the Evian Championship in France, to focus on her bid for gold in the Tokyo Olympics.
World number eight Saso flew to Japan after placing fifth in the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational over the weekend in Michigan, prioritizing the Olympiad over the $4.5-million tourney that begins Thursday.
“She wanted to prepare for the Olympics better,” National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP) secretary-general Bones Floro told The STAR.
The ICTSI-backed Saso was scheduled to arrive in Japan yesterday and enter the bubble set-up for the participants in the Aug. 4-7 joust at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama.
“She said acclimatizing to the Japanese weather is a big thing and that if she were to come from Europe, she would have to deal with jetlag,” said Floro.
Saso’s pal, Bianca Pagdanganan, meanwhile, will arrive in Japan from Los Angeles on the 29th.
Male qualifier Juvic Pagunsan, who is currently in Manila, will check in at the Olympic’s official hotel this Saturday.
Pagunsan, who opted to forego his slot in the British Open, will plunge into action on July 29-Aug. 1 at the Kasumigaseki’s East Course.
“We’re very excited for this campaign because they possess all the skills and mental strength to compete for medals,” said Floro.