Yuka Saso Wins Second U.S. Women’s Open Championship at Lancaster

Yuka Saso Wins Second U.S. Women’s Open Championship at Lancaster

That was the word of the day, courtesy of Allie, on Sunday at the US Women’s Open, when almost every name at the top of the leaderboard was struggling to tame the beast that is Lancaster Country Club.

But the winner was the USA. After a very dramatic final day at the Women’s Open 2021 in Pennsylvania, Yuka Sasao finally conquered the dragon of the venue and hoisted the Harton S. Semple trophy at the end of the 79th running of a major championship.

At the start of the final round, Andrea Lee, Minjee Lee and Wichanee Meechai were tied for the lead at 5 under. Playing in the penultimate pair with Hinako Shibuno, Meechai quickly made a bogey to fall back to 4 under. Andrea was the same, tying her with Meechai, and Minjee moved up to 6 under on the first hole after getting her approach shot to 10 feet and holing the birdie putt.

Meechai then fell further behind with a bogey on the par-4 second hole, then a triple on the par-3 sixth hole before the Thai native made it to the final at Lancaster Country Club 12 with three bogeys and one birdie. She finished just short of her average strokes for the holes and finished in a tie for sixth place with an overall score of two over par.

After Minjee made his first bogey of the round on the third hole to fall back to five under, Andrea made a mistake on the par-four fourth hole, landing in the water next to the tee for a double bogey to fall back to two under. Two holes later, Min-jae needed three putts to get to six and made his second bogey of the round to fall to four under, but then he made a bogey on nine to fall to three under, still two strokes behind Andrea with nine holes to go.

With Andrea closing in on one under, Min-jae made another bogey on the tenth hole to fall back to two under, then his lead completely disappeared when his tee shot turned watery on the par-three. The two-time major champion was eliminated on the twelfth hole. He was able to double up on the toughest hole of the week.

With the Australian in a bind, Andrea seized her opportunity, sinking a 16-foot birdie putt on the 12th hole to move back to two under and with a chance to complete an improbable finish in just her second major of the year. The home stretch.

But 2021 U.S. Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso had other plans. Starting the round three strokes behind the leading trio, she birdied the second hole to move to three under.

A four-putt double bogey on the par-3 sixth hole dropped Saso to one under as the wind took its toll, but the Japanese-born player stayed there until a birdie on the tricky par-3 12th hole put her back in two under par to take the lead. Saso birdied the par-5 13th to move to three under, and while everyone else was desperate to close the gap, the 22-year-old was in cruise control for the final five holes at Lancaster Country Club.

Saso put her 188-yard approach shot to five feet on the par-4 15th hole and sank the birdie putt to move to four under par and beat Andrea by two strokes. At the 239-yard par-4 16th hole, Saso had an easy approach and got onto the green, then two-putted for a birdie to move to 5 under par. Saso then dropped a shot at the par-3 17th hole to fall back to 4 under par, two strokes behind with one hole to go.

Saso hit the fairway on the par-4 18th, missed her second shot and won after a tense back-and-forth. But like a seasoned veteran, Saso seemed blind to one of the biggest moments of her young career, smashing her third shot into 21 inches and holding the par putt to take the clubhouse lead at 4-under.

And when Andrea bogeyed the 17th hole again to fall back to 1-under, it was Saso who celebrated a point at Lancaster Country Club and once again in the United States. The Women’s Open was won.

“Since 2021, I haven`t won after that,” said Saso of her second LPGA Tour victory. “I think it makes it special because after a long wait, and I wasn’t expecting to win the U.S. Women’s Open, the last time, too, I wasn’t expecting it, and this time, too, I wasn’t expecting it. I think that’s why it made me a bit emotional. Winning just makes you look back in all the things that your family and your team and my sponsors, they supported me throughout good or bad.”

Topics #Lancaster #Lancaster Country Club #U.S. Womens Open Championship #Yuka Saso

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