Monday, June 7

Yuka Saso Wins U.S. Women's Open in a Playoff After Lexi Thompson Falters

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Just as in the five U.S. Opens contested on the club's Lake Course, the first U.S. Women's Open Championship played over this iconic Bay Area layout wasn't kind to the favored final-round frontrunner.

Olympic's list of past victims includes Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Jim Furyk and Payne Stewart. Lexi Thompson can now be added to the remarkable list of players who have come up short in championship bids here.

Thompson, the 54-hole leader, was five strokes ahead of her closest pursuers on a beautiful early June Sunday with 10 holes remaining, only to play the final eight in 5 over par, including consecutive bogeys on Nos. 17 and 18 that left the 26-year-old Floridian with a final-round 75, one agonizing stroke shy of the playoff between Yuka Saso and Nasa Hataoka  at 4-under 280.

It took three holes to decide the outcome.

Saso converted a 12-foot birdie putt on the first sudden-death playoff hole (No. 9) after both players made back-to-back pars in the two-hole aggregate playoff.

At 19 years, 11 months, 17 days old, Saso joined World Golf Hall of Fame member and seven-time major winner Inbee Park as the youngest champion in U.S. Women's Open history – to the day. She also becomes the first player from the Philippines to engrave her name on the Harton S. Semple Trophy. Princess Mary Superal (2014 U.S. Girls' Junior) is the only other player from the Philippines to claim a USGA title.

"I don't know what's happening in the Philippines right now, but I'm just thankful that there's so many people in the Philippines cheering for me," said Saso, a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour of Japan. "I don't know how to thank them. They gave me so much energy. I want to say thank you to everyone."

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