Saso bows to Japanese
San Diego, California—Steady-hitting Nao Ohbayashi made all the amazing shots to deny Yuka Saso the championship in the IMG Academy Junior World on Friday (Saturday in Manila).
For the second straight year, Saso saw another impressive three-day run blasted to bits as the Japanese tied the tournament’s best score of six-under-par 66 that turned an overnight three-stroke deficit into a four-stroke victory in the girls’ 15-18 category at Torrey Pines North.
Saso’s closing one-over-par 73 wasn’t the kind of game needed to beat Ohbayashi, a rookie on the LPGA Tour.
Ohbayashi’s near-flawless final round simply wore down Saso—sinking a 28-foot birdie putt on the third hole, another from 35 feet on the 10th and a mind-boggling 40-footer to save par on the 15th.
Saso and Bernice Ilas, who scored a 74, also lost their bid in the team event, placing third behind Chinese-Taipei and Japan.
Saso and Riane Malixi, third in the girls’ 9-10, emerged as the best performers of the 43-strong PH team.
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