Saso wins US Women's Open; Cantlay takes Memorial

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yuka Saso birdied the third playoff hole to beat Nasa Hataoka on Sunday and become the second teenager to win the U.S. Women’s Open after Lexi Thompson collapsed down the stretch.

Saso overcame back-to-back double bogeys early in the round to make the playoff. She then won it with a 10-foot putt on the ninth hole to become the first player from the Philippines to win a golf major.

Saso matched 2008 winner Inbee Park as the youngest U.S. Women’s Open champion at 19 years, 11 months, 17 days.

Both players made pars at Nos. 9 and 18 in the two-hole aggregate playoff, sending the tournament to sudden death back at the ninth hole. That set the stage for Saso to win it just up the road from Daly City, dubbed the Pinoy Capital of the United States for its large population of Filipinos.

Thompson, who had a five-stroke lead after the eighth hole, played the final seven holes in 5 over for a 75 that left her a stroke back. Her approach shot on the par-4 18th ended up in the bunker and then she missed a 10-foot putt to make the playoff.

The only other players to finish under par on the Lake Course at Olympic Club were Megan Khang and Shanshan Feng, who both were at 2 under.

High school junior Megha Ganne played in the final group but shot 77 and finished 3 over as the low amateur for the tournament.

Saso overcame a rough start to the final round with double bogeys on the second and third holes that seemed to knock her out of contention but she managed to steady herself with a birdie at No. 7.

Saso then made back-to-back birdies on the par-5 16th and 17th holes to get to 4 under and join Hataoka in the playoff. Hataoka used a run of three birdies in a four-hole span on the back nine that put pressure on Thompson.

PGA TOUR

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Patrick Cantlay delivered a clutch birdie late in the round and a 12-foot par putt in a playoff to win the Memorial on a Sunday filled with drama, a little rain and no Jon Rahm.

Cantlay closed with a 1-under 71 and won the Memorial for the second time in three years, and he said he felt the same range of emotions in the final hour at Muirfield Village in his duel with Collin Morikawa.

But it wasn’t the same.

Only a day earlier, Cantlay walked off the 18th green six shots behind Rahm, whose 64 ranked as one of the great rounds at the course Jack Nicklaus built and tied two Memorial records, including largest 54-hole lead.

But he tested positive for the coronavirus — Rahm had been in the contact tracing protocol — and was withdrawn from the tournament. Just like that, Cantlay and Morikawa went from six shots behind to tied for the lead.

The round was halted for about five minutes because of a pop-up downpour while they were on the 17th green. When it resumed, Cantlay holed a 25-foot birdie putt to tie, and Morikawa stayed in the game with a 12-foot par.

Cantlay had a 25-foot birdie putt for the win on the 18th in regulation that grazed the right side of the cup, leaving himself and Morikawa (71) at 13-under 275.

Rahm finished his 54 holes at 18-under 198, tying the Memorial record. No one had ever lost a lead that large in the final round at Muirfield Village, though it has happened six times on the PGA Tour, most recently by Dustin Johnson in Shanghai in 2017.

It led to the fourth victory of his PGA Tour career, and second this season. Cantlay also won the ZoZo Championship in California last October.

Morikawa won at Muirfield Village last year, just not the Memorial. He won in a playoff against Thomas at the Workday Charity Open, a one-time even when the pandemic forced the John Deere Classic to be canceled.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Stephen Ames won the Principal Charity Classic for his second PGA Tour Champions title, taking advantage of Tim Herron’s final-round collapse.

Seven strokes behind Herron entering the round, Ames shot a 5-under 67 for a one-stroke victory over fellow Canadian Mike Weir. 

A four-time winner on the PGA Tour, Ames won the 2017 Mitsubishi Electric Classic for his first senior title. The 57-year-old naturalized Canadian citizen from Trinidad finished at 12-under 204 at Wakonda Club.

Weir closed with a 69.

Herron bogeyed three of the final five holes in a 76 that left him tied for third at 10 under. He missed a chance for his first senior victory after winning four times on the PGA Tour.

EUROPEAN TOUR

HAMBURG. Germany (AP) — Maverick Antcliff of Australia shot a 4-under 68 in the European Open for a share of the second-round lead with England’s Matthew Southgate.

Southgate had a 69 to join Antcliff at 5 under with a round left.

The tournament at Green Eagle was shortened to 54 holes — and its start postponed by two days to Saturday — to allow players and tour staff from the United Kingdom extra time to deal with Germany’s travel restrictions.

Edoardo Molinari of Italy was a stroke back with Darius Van Driel of the Netherlands and Scottish players Scott Jamieson and David Law.

KORN FERRY TOUR

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Mito Pereira of Chile won a playoff in the REX Hospital Open for his second Korn Ferry Tour victory of the season and a PGA Tour card for next season.

Pereira won with a birdie on the first extra hole with Stephan Jaeger. He jumped from 12th to second in the points standings with the final top 25 getting PGA Tour cards.

Pereira and Jaeger each closed with 4-under 67s to finish at 21-under 263 at The CC at Wakefield Plantation, matching the tournament 72-hole scoring record.

OTHER TOURS

Ryosuke Kinoshita won the JGTC Mori Building Cup at Shishido Hills in Ibaraki, Japan, for his first Japan Golf Tour title. Ryosuke closed with a 3-under 68 for a five-stroke victory. He finished at 14 under. ... Ritsuko Ryu closed with a 3-under 69 for a one-stroke victory in the Japan LPGA’s Yonex Ladies. She finished at 12 under. ... Slovenian teen Pia Babnik won the Jabra Ladies Open at Evian Resort in France for her first Ladies European Tour title, beating defending champion Annabel Dimmock with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff. The 17-year-old Babnik closed with a 1-under 70 to match Dimmock at 4 under. Babnik took the lead in the Race to Costa del Sol rankings. ... Santiago Tarrio of Spain won the REAL D+D Czech Challenge for his first European Challenge Tour victory. He beat Kristian Krogh Johannessen and Julien Brun with a birdie on the fourth hole of a playoff. Tarrio closed with an 8-under 64 to finish at 17 under. ... Alex Haindl closed with a 1-over 73 for a one-stroke victory in the SunBet Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club. Haindl finished at 7 under for his fourth Sunshine Tour title.

The Associated Press