Pinay golf bets keep Olympic hopes alive

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    FILIPINA golfers Yuka Saso and Dottie Ardina remained in sight of sealing a ticket in next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games after retaining their Nos. 30 and No. 54 spots, respectively, in the latest world ratings of the International Golf Federation Olympic qualifying rankings released yesterday.

    Since last July, Saso and Ardina have kept their places in the Olympic rankings that will determine the top 60 golfers in the men’s and women’s divisions who will see action in the rescheduled games.

    A double gold medalist in the 2018 Asian Games, Saso is currently competing in the Japanese LPGA tour, finishing in a 12-way tie for 12th over the weekend in the Stanley Ladies Golf Championship at Tomei Country Club in Shizuoka Japan.

    The Filipino-Japanese golfer boosted her coffers with her 990,000 yen (roughly P454,000) prize and kept the No. 2 spot in the Mercedes Japanese LPGA tour rankings with total winnings of 66,180, 250 yen (P30.4 million).

    Ardina is a six-year veteran of the US LPGA tour and missed the cut of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship over the weekend at the Arominink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennyslvania.

    The top 15 golfers in the Olympic qualifying cut on June 21, 2021 for men and June 28, 2021 for women will qualify for the Tokyo Games, with a country limited to four entries at the end of the qualifying period.

    As the host country, Japan is guaranteed one qualifier each in the men’s and women’s divisions.

    The remaining slots will be awarded to the highest-ranked countries that do not have a minimum of two players that have made the grade in either division.

    The men’s Olympic golf tournament  is set on July 29 to Aug. 1, 2021 while the women’s tourney is slated Aug. 4 to 7, 2021, both at the Kasumigaseki Country Club, 27 kilometers northwest of the Japanese capital.

    Saso and Ardina are bidding to follow in the footsteps of Miguel Tabuena, who represented the country in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.