YUKA Saso hopes her historic victory in the 76th US Women’s Open will lead to more Filipinos, especially the youth, taking up the game.
But she doesn't want to see a single one dragged to a golf course.
The 19-year-old expressed the hope of seeing golf flourish in the Philippines after her landmark playoff victory at The Olympic Club over Nasa Haraoka made her the first Filipino champion in a golf major.
“Siyempre, gusto ko po na mas dumami po ‘yung junior golfers natin sa Pilipinas," the shy Fil-Japanese said. "Pero at the same time, parang ayoko naman po na ng dahil sa akin na ginusto lang nila ‘yung golf.
“Gusto ko, ‘yung parang magustuhan talaga nila galing sa puso,” she added.
It was this same kind of passion for the sport that propelled Saso to unprecedented heights. Shortly after her victory, stories of his daily eight-hour practices at Canlubang and his spartan training with his dad emerged.
But more than anything else, Saso said it was her love for the game that helped her endure the countless hours on the range and golf course.
“They need to love what they are trying to do," she said. "You have to be very sincere. If you are very sincere, you are going to work hard."