By Adrian Stewart Co
For the second time in the last three years, Filipina teen golf sensation Yuka Saso has been named as the Athlete of the Year by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA).
Saso will be feted with the 2020 edition of the individual award during the sports scribes’ Awards Night on March 27 at the TV5 Media Center for her impressive showing in international competition last year.
The 19-year-old Saso, who became a professional golfer last year, entered 2021 ranked 45th in the world and also topped the money ranking with earnings amounting to P50 million.
Saso kicked off her professional year with two straight championships in the NEC Karuizawa Championship and the Nitori Ladies Golf Tournament in the Japan Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA).
Saso, meanwhile, finished at 13th place in her first LPGA championship major championship in the United States Open last December.
The Filipino-Japanese golfer is also at No. 21 in the Olympic rankings, which puts her comfortably within the top 60 women who will be able to see action in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Prior to the 2020 edition, Saso was also named by PSA as their Athlete of the Year in 2018 following her double gold medal feat in the 2018 Asian Games golf event in Indonesia.
The San Ildefonso, Bulacan-native Saso stunned the Asian Games then when she topped the women’s individual event at 16 years old, leading to another gold medal in the team event as Bianca Pagdanganan picked up a bronze.
Meanwhile, apart from Saso, the PSA will likewise hand out its regular awards such as the Executive of the Year, President’s Award, National Sports Association (NSA) of the Year, and the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Major honorees in various sports as well as citations and recognitions are likewise included in the honor roll list./ASC, WDJ