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Saso Sweeps US Women's Open: A Champion for Two Nations

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Posted by Admin 03 Jun 2024

The 2024 US Women's Open at Pebble Beach provided a captivating spectacle for golf fans worldwide. From dramatic shot-making to unexpected upsets, the tournament unfolded with intrigue and excitement throughout the four days. This article delves into the captivating story of Yuka Saso's journey to claiming the prestigious title, highlighting the key moments and their significance.

 

 

Yuka Saso etched her name in history by winning the US Women's Open for the second time

 

 

Since 2021 I haven't won.  I think it just makes it special because after a long wait, I wasn't expecting to win the U.S. Women's Open. I think that's why it made me a bit emotional. Winning just makes you look back on all the things that your family and your team and my sponsors, they supported me throughout good or bad.” – Yuka Saso on being emotional at the prize ceremony

 

 

The 2024 U.S. Women's Open will be held at Lancaster Country Club, which is expected to be even more demanding than in 2015. These were the reasons for the humongous popularity,Nelly Korda, the No. 1 ranked player, is on a historic run and looking to win her first U.S. Women's Open title.Lexi Thompson is playing in her 18th consecutive U.S. Women's Open and announced this will be her last year as a full-time competitor on the LPGA Tour.36 players from the 2015 U.S. Women's Open are returning to Lancaster Country Club, including winner In Gee Chun and runner-up Amy Yang. Yuka Saso was not the feather in the hat of the championship, but as the championship rolled futher , she manouvered like a machine gun.

 

 

Day 1: Setting the Stage

 

Opening day dawned with crisp air and a sense of anticipation hanging over Pebble Beach. The iconic course, known for its unforgiving winds and breathtaking ocean views, presented a stern test for the world's best female golfers. A strong international contingent joined the American favorites, creating a diverse leaderboard from the very beginning.

 

 

Yuka Saso plays tee shot on 2nd hole , 1st round, 2024 US Women Open

 

 

One of the early surprises came from 22-year-old Japanese golfer Yuka Saso. Despite not being a household name at the time, Saso displayed remarkable composure and ball striking. Her round was a masterclass in course management, navigating the tricky winds and finding fairways consistently. A clutch birdie putt on the iconic 18th hole capped off a bogey-free 4-under-par 68, putting her name at the top of the leaderboard.

 

Top golfer Nelly Korda's bid for the U.S. Women's Open title got off to a rocky start. Despite a strong showing on the back nine, a disastrous 10 on the par-3 12th hole left her with a high score, reflecting the challenging course conditions.

 

 

Day 2: Highs and Lows

 

The second day offered a stark contrast to the serenity of the first. Stronger winds whipped across the course, making shot control paramount. Scores soared, with birdies becoming scarce commodities. Leaderboard positions shifted dramatically, with several pre-tournament favorites dropping out of contention.

 

 

Yuka Saso recieves a hug from hannah Green on 9th hole at 2024 US Women Open

 

 

Saso, however, remained unfazed. Her meticulous approach play stood out, consistently leaving her with manageable birdie opportunities. While birdies were rare, Saso's focus on avoiding bogeys was key. She navigated the day with just one blemish on her scorecard, a testament to her mental fortitude and strategic thinking. By the end of day two, she held a one-shot lead over a resurgent Lexi Thompson.

 

 

Day 3: "Moving Day"

 

Saturday, traditionally known as "moving day" in golf tournaments, lived up to its billing. Players jockeyed for position, desperate to climb the leaderboard and gain a share of the final-round spotlight. The day witnessed several dramatic comebacks and heartbreaking collapses.

 

One of the most captivating stories involved the young amateur, Rose Zhang. The 17-year-old phenom displayed incredible poise and talent, showcasing a dazzling array of shots. However, a late double bogey on the daunting 17th hole saw her relinquish a potential share of the lead.

 

 

Yuka Saso carded a 1-under 69 in round 3, a step closer to title

 

 

Meanwhile, Saso found herself embroiled in a captivating three-way battle for the top spot with Lexi Thompson and Thailand's Patty Tavatanakit. Each player birdied key holes, keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats. Saso, however, held her nerve. A clutch birdie putt on the par-3 17th, a notoriously difficult hole due to the ever-present ocean breeze, put her two shots clear heading into the final day.

 

 

Day 4: A Champion Emerges

 

 

The final day of the US Women's Open provided a fitting climax to the week's drama. Saso started strong, sinking two birdies in the first four holes to extend her lead to four strokes. However, the pressure began to mount as Lexi Thompson started making a determined charge. Thompson, a two-time US Open runner-up, birdied three consecutive holes on the back nine, cutting Saso's lead to a single stroke with just four holes remaining.

 

The tension was palpable as Saso stepped onto the tee box for the par-3 15th. A birdie there could effectively seal the win. Facing the familiar ocean breeze, Saso displayed remarkable composure. Her tee shot found the heart of the green, and she calmly rolled in a birdie putt, sending the crowd into a frenzy. 

 

 

Fans Congratulating Yuka from the 18th hole for winning 79th US Women Open 

 

 

Thompson's charge eventually faltered, and Saso cruised to victory with a two-stroke margin. As she stepped onto the 18th green, a sense of disbelief and joy washed over her. Saso, the quiet and determined golfer from Japan, had become the US Women's Open champion.

 

 

The Significance of Yuka Saso's Victory

 

Yuka Saso etched her name in history by winning the US Women's Open for the second time, becoming the first player to win for two different countries. Representing Japan this time, she edged out countrywoman Hinako Shibuno for a 3-stroke victory. Saso displayed remarkable composure amidst fading favorites, carding a 2-under 68 for a total of 4-under. This win marks her first victory since the 2021 US Women's Open and comes with a hefty $2.4 million prize, the largest in women's major championship history.

 

Saso's victory resonated beyond the boundaries of the course. More importantly, Saso's win served as an inspiration to aspiring golfers worldwide. It proved that success in major championships can be achieved through focus, dedication, and strategic thinking, rather than relying solely on raw power. Her victory underscored the importance of mental strength and course management in the face of immense pressure.

 

 

Read more:

 

 

 

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  PGA Championship Showdown: Xander Tops, Bryson and Victor Follow Closely

 

 

 

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