Yuka Saso rebounded strong from a previous fall in women’s world golf ranking, making a six-spot jump to post a career-best No. 40 coming off a joint sixth place effort in last week’s LOTTE Championship in Hawaii.
The young Filipino-Japanese shotmaker, who dreams of becoming world No. 1 someday, dropped to No. 46 the previous week after a tied for 50th in the ANA Championship from a personal high ranking of No. 43 three weeks ago.
But she gained 9.14 points in the LOTTE tilt in Hawaii, which she actually led in the first two rounds with back-to-back 64s.
But Kiwi and former world No. 1 subdued Saso in their crucial third round face-off and went on to claim a dominant win and snap a three-title spell.
The victory likewise lifted Ko to No. 7 in the world from No. 11 even as the Koreans kept their hold of the top three behind Jin Young Ko, Inbee Park and Sei Young Kim, respectively.
Americans Nelly Korda and Daniella Kang kept their spots at Nos. 4-5, respectively, with Canadian Brooke Henderson at sixth.
After two LPGA events, Saso is back in the LPGA of Japan Tour where she hopes to make full use of the lessons learned in Hawaii in pursuit of a third crown after winning the NEC Karuizawa and Nitori Ladies last year.
But she remains off the list in the next two JLPGA tournaments due to quarantine protocols.
That, however, is expected to make the ICTSI-backed ace hungrier or recognition, particularly after posting mediocre finishes in the first three JLPGA events before she embarked on her LPGA mission.
She, however, is expected to headline the first JLPGA major in the integrated 2020-21 seasons, the Y120 million World Ladies Championship Salonpas Cup slated 6 to 9 May in Ibaraki.