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Yuka Saso is now a two-time US Women’s Open champion.

The 22-year-old, a winner of this event in 2021, closed with a final round 68 to finish three shots clear of compatriot Hinako Shibuno at Lancaster Country Club.

The Japanese duo were the only two players to finish under-par after a gruelling week in Pennsylvania – the fewest for the championship in the last decade.

Saso admitted that the win was particularly special considering her dual nationality.

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“It feels great,” she said. “Winning in 2021, I represented the Philippines and feel like I was able to give back to my mum. This year I was able to represent Japan, and I think I was able to give back to my dad.

“It’s just a wonderful feeling that I was able to give back to my parents in the same way.

“I think I really wanted it, as well. Not just to get a second win but also to prove something to myself. I haven’t won in two and a half or three years.

“I definitely had a little doubt if I can win again or if I won’t win again but I was able to prove a little something to myself.”

Overnight leader Andrea Lee had to settle for a tie for third alongside Ally Ewing.

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For the UK, the wait for a first winner of the title this century goes on. Not since Alison Nicholas in 1997 has a British golfer got their hands on the trophy.

Charley Hull was the best of the bunch this year, finishing in a tie for 19th, ten shots adrift of Saso.

The English ace gained tens of thousands of new followers on social media after footage of her smoking whilst signing autographs went viral – much to her bemusement.

“I do go to the gym and I’m a very healthy person,” she said. “I only smoke. I hardly drink. I don’t need to drink because actually I can have a fun time without it.

“My dad has smoked 40 a day since he was 12 years old and now he’s 75. My whole family smokes, so it’s not something that I’ve noticed being odd.”

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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