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Yuka Saso becomes a unique two-time champion who won this time for Japan

LANCASTER, Pa. – Yuka Saso became US Women’s Open champion for the second time on Sunday, taking her place in history with a rare footnote: the first Filipina to win the Women’s Open in 2021, and now the first from Japan.

Regardless of the flag, the 22-year-old delivered a masterful performance at Lancaster Country Club with a 2-under 68. She made four birdies in a five-hole stretch on the back nine amid a series of collapses and won without much drama.

Minjee Lee, who led by three shots on the front nine, came undone with a tee shot into the water on the par-3 12th, the first of two double bogeys. Wichanee Meechai of Thailand left herself out of the picture early with a triple bogey.

Andrea Lee fell back with a double bogey and could no longer overtake him.

Saso was not immune to mistakes. She had a four-putt double bogey on the par-3 sixth, leaving her four shots behind Minjee Lee. That was the last of the mistakes that mattered.

Her big run started with a 10-foot birdie putt on the 12th, followed by a wedge to 10 feet on the par-5 13th hole. She hit her approach to six feet on the 15th hole and then delivered the winner, a 3-wood to 20 feet on the reachable par-4 16th for a two-putt birdie.

Saso has said she would like to play for two flags: her mother is from the Philippines, her father from Japan. She decided to change her citizenship before she turned 21, and Saso ultimately led Japan’s strong performance.

She won in a play-off at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. She won by three shots at Lancaster Country Club.