This week at the Marathon LPGA Classic is Yuka Saso’s first time in Ohio. She said she likes Toledo. “It’s quiet,” she said, but not on the course, with fans abound and overflowing from the grandstands around Highland Meadows. Saso said she started getting a feel for the course last week, and has enjoyed the “tricky” challenges over the past three days. Now in only her second event since her win in San Francisco, Saso took recorded a third-round 64 to shoot up the leaderboard into a tie for fifth at -11.
“I was in the driving range and Judd came and welcomed me saying this is like one of the oldest tournament in LPGA,” said Saso. “That day I just found out, so I was really happy and thankful that I was able to come here and able to play. You know, golf course is really in good shape, and the people here is so nice. They're like cheering. There is a lot of people, too.”
Saso recorded seven birdies and an eagle on No. 9 along with two bogeys en route to her career-best round on the LPGA Tour, last recorded twice in the first and second rounds of the LOTTE Championship in April. She played along with Inbee Park, with whom she was paired for the opening rounds at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. After signing her scorecard on Saturday, Saso asked Park to sign her glove, and said she’s learned a lot already by watching the seven-time major champion.
“She's so calm like the whole round. You don't realize, but once we finish her score is like 5-under, 6-under,” said Saso. “So those kind of things, being calm and trying to do your best until the end, I think that is what I'm trying to learn from her. You know, playing with her for three days, including two days in KPMG, one day today, it's been really good experience for me.”
Saso also played with hometown favorite Stacy Lewis on Thursday and Friday in Toledo. Lewis gushed about the 20-year-old, who also gave the rookie a signed souvenir.
“Gosh, what a talent, just fun energy, just really likable kid,” said She actually came up to me after the round and I signed her glove for her. I said, Is this for you, and she kind of put her head down and said, Yes. So I put her name on it and everything,” said Lewis. “So just really fun to see the young talent like that. I'm 16 years older than her, but if that's what's coming up, we're in a great spot.”