Youth Olympic Games: PH’s Yuka Saso misses out on women’s golf medal
BUENOS AIRES—Yuka Saso narrowly missed out a podium finish after faltering in the medal playoff of women’s golf Thursday in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
The reigning Asian Games individual champion miscalculated a six-foot putt for par during her three-way tiebreak with Alessia Nobilio of Italy and Emma Spitz of Austria on hole No. 1, completely denying Saso a medal in these Games despite a spectacular final round.
Kim Grace of Australia assembled a one-over 71 for a tournament-best 211 over three days to pocket the gold medal at the wind-swept Hurlingham Club here.
“It’s really cold out here and my lips are already dry,’’ said Saso, who led all scorecards for the day after firing one-under 69 to rally from five strokes down and compile a total of 214.
But the Filipino-Japanese ace wasn’t alone after finishing the round with Nobilio and Spitz coming home also three strokes behind Grace for a share of second place with Saso.
Nobilio scored a birdie during the playoff to assure her of the silver medal, leaving Spitz and Saso to scramble for the bronze. Spitz sank a seven-footer for par but Saso, who went over the green after her tee shot veered to the left, flubbed the putt from six feet and eventually bogeyed the hole that gave the Austrian a sure medal.
“For me, it’s already a medal. These things happen because you are competing with the best in your sport and there are only three medals,’’ said Philippine chef de mission Jonne Go.
“We still have a chance in the team event and we have other athletes who are still competing,’’ added Go, who was accompanied by Medical and Scientific Athletes Services head Josephine Joy Reyes of the Philippine Sports Commission for the entire duration of the Games.
Saso will partner with Carl Jano Corpus in the mixed team event for three rounds beginning Saturday (Sunday in Manila). Corpus ended up tied for 16th overall with Sangha Park of South Korea in the men’s division won by Karl Vilips of Australia.
“We’ll just try to enjoy the game. I’m comfortable with Carl because we grew up together,’’ said Saso.
Swimmer Nicole Oliva is schedule to race in the heats of the women’s 400-meter freestyle on Friday, kiteboarder Christian Tio is still in the thick of the fight in his event that will end on Saturday while archer Nicole Tagle opens her campaign on the same day.
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