Yuka Saso, a 19-year-old pro-golfer, took over headlines on June 7, 2021 when she became the titleholder for the 76th US Women’s Open. She made history as the only Filipino athlete so far to ever win in major golf competitions. Saso is also the youngest to ever win the U.S. Women’s Open championship, right after Inbee Park of South Korea.
As a teen, Saso has been bringing home trophies in golf. Before pursuing a professional career, she won two golds at the 2018 Asian Games. In 2019, Saso officially decided to pursue a professional career in golf. Before turning pro, however, she was given the chance to pursue a college degree and play collegiate golf.
Saso was set to play for and rep the University of Georgia under a scholarship in 2020. But after becoming a member of the Japan Ladies Professional Golfers' Association, she decided to turn the offer down to play pro. Since then, Saso landed her first win as a pro at the 2020 NEC Karuizawa 72 Golf Tournament, and then consequently won the Nitori Ladies Golf Tournament after that. This year, she won the 76th US Women's Open, putting herself as the world number 9 in women's golf and taking home the prize money worth $1 million.
Despite all the accolades she has earned (and is expected to earn in the future), Saso still has plans of pursuing a college education. In a 2020 interview with Inquirer, Saso shared that she "wants to go back to school" and earn a college degree. "I really want to study, whether that be in the States," she says in the interview.
For now, Saso is expected to represent the country at the Tokyo Olympics. Her sacrifice and hard work has paid off despite turning down an opportunity to go to college for free.
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