MALACAÑANG hailed the victory of Yuka Saso in the 76th US Women’s Open on Monday, calling her the 'pride and glory' of the country.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque congratulated Saso on Monday after she captured the US Women’s Open in a playoff win over Japan’s Nasa Hataoka to become the first Filipino to win any of golf's major championships.
Roque noted President Duterte had already met Saso after she won two gold medals in the 2018 Asian Games.
“Today is a great day in Philippine sports,” Roque said. “The Palace greets Yuka Saso for bringing honor to the Philippines by winning the 2021 US Women’s Open.
"President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has previously met Ms. Saso in Malacañang Palace when she was awarded a Presidential citation after winning the gold medal in the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia.
“She is indeed the pride and glory of our country. We are all proud of you. Congratulations,” Roque added.
Meanwhile, vice-president Leni Robredo also congratulated Saso for the victory, saying her feat is living proof of what the Filipino youth can do on a world stage.
“Iba talaga ang husay at puso ng kabataang Pinoy,” Robredo said. “Maraming salamat, Yuka, for making history as the new US Women’s Open champion. Excited kami na mag-cheer para sa’yo sa mas marami pang laban, panalo at pangarap.”
Also extending congratulatory message to one of two youngest players to become US Women's Open champion is Senator Bong Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports.
"At the young age of 19, she brings hope and inspiration to many of our young countrymen and women," said Go.
"Nagpapasalamat ako at humahanga kay Yuka sa kanyang galing at patuloy na pagbibigay ng karangalan sa ating bansa," added the senator. "Umaasa rin tayo na tulad ni Yuka ay marami pang atletang Pinoy ang buong husay na makikilahok at magtatagumpay sa darating na Tokyo Olympics at SEA Games sa ilalim ng bandila ng Pilipinas."
Saso’s main sponsor International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) said it will continue to support the Filipino-Japanese golfer after she was crowned as the US Women’s Open champion, the company said in a statement.
ICTSI lauded Saso’s victory in the US Women’s Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco, thanking her for the pride and joy she gave to the Philippines after winning the major in a playoff against Nasa Nataoka of Japan on Monday.
The company also assured that it will remain by Saso’s side, while also being upbeat about the future of the champion golfer.
“International Container Terminal Services, Inc. congratulates Ms Yuka Saso for winning and being the first Filipino to win in a major golf championship that is probably one of the hardest to win – the recently concluded 76th U.S. Women’s Open golf championship at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California,” it said.
“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 serve as an inspiration to our Filipino athletes in breaking through internationally.”
“ICTSI will continue supporting Yuka in her golfing career, and we look forward to more victories,” it added.
ICTSI has been the godfather of Philippine golf with its sponsorship of Saso and another Filipina golfer making waves overseas in Bianca Pagdanganan. It has also bankrolled the country’s professional golf circuit, the Philippine Golf Tour.
“Incredibly well done, Yuka. We at ICTSI and the country stand solidly behind you,” said the company.
The National Golf Association of the Philippines also congratulated Saso for making history, while also thanking ICTSI for being its unwavering support in uplifting the sport in the country.
“We are very happy for the new champion and proud of everything that she has achieved so far in her young career. The first Filipino player and, at 19, tied for the youngest ever to win the women’s game’s oldest major, Yuka has earned this feat with her amazing talent, determination, and grace under pressure. That she has brought so much joy and honor to our golf community and the country at a most challenging time truly makes her triumph all the more special.”
“We likewise congratulate Yuka’s family and the rest of her team for their hard work and invaluable support. Further, we express our appreciation to ICTSI and its chairman, Ricky Razon, for their sponsorship not only of Yuka’s professional career but also of golf development in our country. Every champion needs a solid community to draw strength and inspiration from, especially when the going gets tough. We were delighted to see the contingent of Filipino fans and friends cheering Yuka on every step of the way until she lifted the Harton S. Semple trophy.”
“Again, congratulations and thank you, Yuka! The women’s golf game just got even more exciting, and we look forward to seeing you lead it to even greater heights,” said the NGAP.