Yuka Yasuda wins Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific as local favorite
Yuka Yasuda (ANWA photo)
Yuka Yasuda entered the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific as the local favorite. The 18-year-old from Kobe, Japan was just weeks away from a top-3 finish at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, and after four days at the Royal Golf Club in Hokota, Japan, Yasuda has guaranteed herself a trip back to Augusta next year.
She becomes the first player exempt into the 2020 ANWA.
Yasuda led by two shots entering the final round. She made birdie on her opening hole Sunday, and essentially that was that. At 11-under 277, Yasuda finished eight shots ahead of defending champion Atthaya Thitikul. Ye Won Lee (2 under) and Yaeeun Hong (1 under) were third and fourth, respectively.
“Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to win the championship but so many people came out today and they cheered and motivated me and I am happy that I could play some good golf,” Yasuda told the R&A after the event. “This is such a huge win for me. I am trying to become a professional golfer and I am sure this is going to open many doors for me in the future.
In addition to the ANWA exemption, winning in Japan this week also earns Yasuda a spot in the Women’s British Open and the Evian Championship, two LPGA major championships.
As for World No. 9 Thitikul, the highest-ranked player in the field, an opening birdie preceded a three-putt bogey on the second from less than 4 feet. She struggled to put pressure on Yasuda from there.
“I played okay. I missed some birdie putts but Yasuda played such a solid round and she showed me a great performance,” Thitikul told the R&A. “I am happy. I came in as the defending champion and I enjoyed being here. We played in some very tough conditions and that is going to be a great learning experience for me.”
Information from the R&A used in this report
ABOUT THE Women's Asia-Pacific Amateur
The inaugural Women's Asia-Pacific Amateur
Championship was played in 2018.
It is played over 72-holes stroke play with the field
to comprise 86 players. Players are eligible based on
their R&A World Amateur Golf Ranking.
It is conducted by the Asia-Pacific Golf
The winner receives an invitation to play in the Ricoh
Women’s British Open and the ANA Inspiration.
View Complete Tournament Information