Yuka Saso (AFP)
After nearly a month of rest, Yuka Saso, the U.S. Women’s Open Champion, returns to the game, while Filipino teammates Bianca Pagdanganan and Dottie Ardina get a better result when they compete in the 2021 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship on Thursday (Friday in Manila) at the Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Northwest Arkansas.
Saso last took part in the Women’s British Open on August 22nd, where she finished 39th with the same number of points. Since then, the 20-year-old Tokyo Olympic veteran has skipped an LPGA Tour event to rest.
Saso, number 7 in the world and third on the money list this year, is now well prepared and determined to win a second championship after winning the US Women’s Open title last June.
A total of 144 players take part in the $ 2.3 million tournament.
In addition to Saso – two-time gold medalist at the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games 2018 in Indonesia – the number 2 in the world, Jin Young Ko from South Korea, is expected to fight for the title.
They are joined by number 4 in the world rankings Sei Young Kim from Korea, number 6 Lydia Ko from New Zealand, number 8 Danielle Kang from the USA, number 9 Minjee Lee from Australia and number 10 Brooke Henderson from Canada.
The American Austin Ernst is the defending champion in this event, which was first included in the LPGA Tour in 2007.
Saso will tee off in the second nine with Lee and Thai Patty Tavatanakit.
Meanwhile, Pagdanganan and Ardina are fresh from their participation in the Cambia Portland Classic, with the former taking 30th place and the latter 54th place overall at The Oregon Golf Club in West Linn, Oregon.
The said event was reduced to 54 holes because of the heavy rain, making Pagdanganan $ 10,823 – or roughly P541,150 – while Ardina bagged $ 4,217 (P210,850).
Pagdanganan is on the same flight as the Americans Sydnee Michaels and Marissa Steen, who are teeing off on hole 1, while Ardina will start her campaign with Min Lee from Chinese Taipei and Aditi Ahsok from India in the second nine.
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