Three-time LPGA Tour winner Nasa Hataoka started the final round of the U.S. Women’s Open in a tie for sixth at –1, one of only seven players under-par after three days at The Olympic Club. In the penultimate grouping alongside major champions Shanshan Feng and Jeongeun Lee6, Hataoka rallied into a playoff with two-time JLPGA winner Yuka Saso for the championship title after posting a final-round 67.
After getting through the two-hole aggregate playoff, Hataoka ultimately lost to Saso on the third playoff hole to tie her career-best finish in a major championship. It was the second time Hataoka had lost in a major championship playoff in three years, after she was eliminated on the first extra hole at the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and watched Sung Hyun Park defeat So Yeon Ryu on the second extra hole. Despite the disappointing finale, Hataoka held her head high.
“Today the wind was pretty strong, so I thought it might be difficult, but also with the score difference. But I told myself that I do have a chance. I keep trying and trying, and that's where I am,” said Hataoka. “On the first playoff (in 2018) I had to wait over an hour, so I was kind of excited, got me all excited and uptight and I started thinking, but this one since it was right away and I decided I would just be relaxed, then just keep doing what I'm supposed to be doing, and this was the result.”