Saso gives Olympic hopes big boost

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    BOOSTED by her latest triumph over the weekend in the Japanese LPGA tour, Filipino-Japanese Yuka Saso rose to No. 30 In the latest world Olympic qualifying rankings released yesterday by the International Golf Federation.

    Saso, who captured her second tournament in three tries in the circuit by ruling the Nitori Ladies golf championship in Otaru Hokkaido, Japan last Sunday, moved six rungs higher from her previous ranking of 30th.

    Dottie Ardina, currently competing in the US LPGA tour, also gained ground, jumping six places to No. 50 in the ranking system devised by the world golf body to determine the qualifiers to the Tokyo Olympic Games next year.

    The top 60 men and 60 women at the end of the Olympic qualifying deadline for golf set June 21 and June 28, 2021, respectively, will make it to the rescheduled Tokyo Games.

    The Tokyo Olympic Games women’s golf competition will be played after the men’s tournament and is scheduled from August 4 to 7, 2021 at the par-71, 7,466-yard East course of the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama, 29.4-kilometers from the Japanese capital.

    A double gold medalist in the 2018 Asian Games, Saso has been sensational as a rookie on the Japanese circuit and scored her breakthrough win in the NEC Karuizawa golf tournament in Nagano two weeks ago

    Thanks to those two huge wins, she has vaulted to 76th place from 117th in the latest Rolex world women’s international rankings that weekly releases the ratings based on the performances of pros in tournaments worldwide.

    The Philippines made its golfing debut in the quadrennial meet in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games through former Philippine Open champion Juan Miguel Tabuena, who finished 53rd out of 60 entries with a four-round score of 291, seven-over par.

    Angelo Que and Ardina also qualified for Rio but decided to skip the event due to the Zika virus epidemic that had then broken out in Brazil.