MANILA, Philippines -- Yuka Saso knows her triumph in the U.S. Women's Open last Monday will inspire young Filipinos to also take up golf.
And while this is something she welcomes, Saso is wary of becoming the primary motivation for Filipinos to try the sport.
"Siyempre, gusto ko po na mas dumami po 'yung junior golfers natin sa Philippines," said the 19-year-old Saso, who made history by becoming the first Filipino golfer, male or female, to win a major.
Her victory at the Olympic Club in San Francisco was widely celebrated in the Philippines, especially after Saso showed nerves of steel in overcoming Japan's Nasa Hataoka in a sudden-death playoff.
There were plenty of Filipinos at the venue who gave Saso a semblance of a home court advantage. Afterward, Saso expressed her gratitude to her countrymen, saying they "gave me so much energy."
But for the Filipinos who now want to follow in her footsteps, Saso said it's something that they have to do because they truly want to, and not just because they see her as an inspirational figure.
"Parang ayaw ko naman po na, nang dahil sa akin, ginusto lang nila 'yung golf," Saso explained. "Gusto ko parang, magustuhan talaga nila, galing sa puso."
"I think that's very important. That's all I can say. They need to love what they're trying to do. You can't just do things by half," she added. "You have to be very sincere. If you're very sincere, you gotta work hard and all that stuff."
For those who have that sincerity and drive to excel in golf, Saso said she is willing to offer advice and tips.
"I'm not gonna force anyone to play golf," she said. "But if they'd really wanna play golf, I'd like to help."