Golf: Yuka Saso not yet thinking of US Women's Open title defense

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2022 04:44 PM

Yuka Saso plays a tee shot on the 12th hole during the third round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship at Kapolei Golf Club on April 16, 2021 in Kapolei, Hawaii. File photo. Christian Petersen, Getty Images/AFP.
Yuka Saso plays a tee shot on the 12th hole during the third round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship at Kapolei Golf Club on April 16, 2021 in Kapolei, Hawaii. File photo. Christian Petersen, Getty Images/AFP.

MANILA, Philippines -- Defending the U.S. Women's Open championship is not yet on Yuka Saso's mind as she takes things as they come in the LPGA Tour.

The 20-year-old Saso, currently ranked seventh in the world, will defend her title on June 2-5 at the Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in North Carolina.

But there are nine competitions ahead of the U.S. Women's Open, including the first major of the year -- the Chevron Championship on March 31 to April 3 at the Mission Hills Country Club in California.

"There's a lot of time 'til I defend my title in the U.S. Open, and there's one major tournament before the U.S. Open," Saso told Philippine media at a recent press conference at the Solaire Resort & Casino Manila.

"So I personally take it week by week. I'm not setting my goals too far ahead," she explained.

Saso won the 2021 U.S. Women's Open last year, beating Japan's Nasa Hataoka in a playoff. She was the first Filipino golfer to win a major but has since started representing Japan.

"I'm trying to get ready for Chevron right now, and obviously, HSBC and Honda. So, that's my upcoming tournaments. So, for the U.S. Open, it's too early to talk about that, for me," she said.

Saso is currently in the Philippines on vacation, the first time that she's been back in the country in two years.

She will return to action March 3-6 at the HSBC Women's World Championship at the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore, and on March 10-13 for the Honda LPGA Thailand at the Siam Country Club in Chonburi.

Saso is hopeful that her decision to spend some time in the Philippines will pay off for her in her upcoming events.

"I think po that there's some advantage, when it comes to time po. It's a little less po 'yung jetlag, compared if I'm coming from the U.S.," she said.

"That's one of the reasons why I came back to the Philippines earlier, to get used to the time, and of course to get ready," she added. "Medyo mainit siguro sa Singapore and Thailand, and medyo malamig po kasi sa Texas ngayon, so it's good that I'm back to get ready."

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