Saso equalizes for 23rd; Ardina finishes 31st in the LPGA Drive On

MANILA, Philippines — Yuka Saso failed to build a strong final round load and finished with a 69, ultimately finishing 23rd in the LPGA Drive On Championship hosted by France’s Celine Boutier at the Superstition Mountain Course in Gold Canyon , Arizona, Sunday (Friday, Manila time).

Saso actually finished with three birdies in the last four holes after a two-birdie, two-bogey map, with her late rally taking her from 25 places to a top-23 finish worth $15,022, although it was over after her sixth place finish her goal was the Women’s World Cup in Singapore earlier this month.

She was in the mix after 36 holes with an eight-under aggregate peppered by a second round 66 highlighted by a career-first Albatross. The ICTSI-backed 2021 US Women’s Open trophy winner stayed on the hunt in the crucial third round but faltered on target, giving up three shots for a second 70 in the last three holes.

She dropped to 31st, fighting off a birdie with two bogeys in the first five holes of the final round. She chose a series of pars over the next eight holes, dropping another shot on #14 but regaining her touch and shagging #15, 17, and 18.

Meanwhile, Boutier and her former Solheim Cup teammate Georgia Hall of England birdied the final hole to play 68 seconds for 268 seconds, but the former birdied the first playoff hole to secure the championship, her third LPGA crown .

Boutier, 29, had previously won the Handa Vic Open in 2019 and the ShopRite Classic in 2021.

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Over in Beaumont, Calif., Dottie Ardina birdied five to cancel out a double bogey miss in 4th place, though her 69 could only earn her a tied 31st in the Epson Tour IOA Championship, also owned by China’s Miranda Wang was won Sunday.

Ardina, whose campaign is also backed by the world’s leading port operator, finished the 54-hole tournament at 214, a far cry from Wang’s 204. The Chinese shagged No. 16 to shoot a 70 and beat Natasha Oon by one as the Malaysian missed an A playoff with a bogey on the last hole for a 71 and a 205 at Morongo Golf Club on the Tukwet Canyon Course,

Pauline del Rosario also struggled with a 73 and ended up in 50th place with a 218.

The LPGA Tour’s Farm League heads to the Casino del Sol Golf Classic in Tucson, Arizona starting Thursday, where Ardina will be joined by Clariss Guce, Bianca Pagdanganan and Abby Arevalo, all of whom missed the cut in the IOA Championship.

Del Rosario is on the reserved list.

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