Today, the Women’s US Open. Tomorrow, the Olympics. Newly-crowned US Open queen Yuka Saso is expected to clinch a seat in the coming Tokyo Olympics, alongside fellow Asian Games gold medalist Bianca Pagdanganan.
This is because the two are currently listed inside the Top 60 of the Olympic golf rankings, managed by the International Golf Federation.
According to qualification rules, 60 players in each of the men’s and women’s events will make it to the list of Olympic qualifiers by June 21 for the men’s side and June 28 for the women’s.
The quadrennial meet is slated from July 23 to Aug. 8 in Tokyo, Japan.
The 19-year-old Saso is currently situated at no. 22 in the Olympic golf rankings after the IGF updated its list this week. She is expected to climb further following her $1-million major golf triumph at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, California.
On the other hand, the 23-year-old Pagdanganan is currently ranked no. 41 in the women’s Olympic rankings
Pagdanganan, who is no. 155 in the world rankings, enjoyed her lofty standing after making it to no. 39th position last May in the Blue Silk Championship in Williamsburg, Virginia last month.
After turning pro last year, Pagdanganan only saw action in three tournaments this year so far due to COVID-19 restrictions.
She made her Ladies Professional Golf Association debut after holing a birdie putt on the 72nd hole at Aronimink Golf Club last year to tie for ninth in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
Pagdanganan, as an LPGA Tour rookie, is statistically the longest hitter on the circuit, averaging 288.8 yards.
Meanwhile, the International Container Terminal Services, Inc. congratulated Saso “for winning and being the first Filipino to win in a major golf championship that is probably one of the hardest to win.”
“Her ICTSI family thanks Yuka for the pride and joy she gives the country. We likewise commend her for her hard work, perseverance and dedication to training, and most especially for remaining humble despite her recent successes. She is and will continue to be a role model for the golfing community. May she also serves as an inspiration to our Filipino athletes in breaking through internationally,” the statement said.