US Women’s Open champ Yuka Saso pulls out of Evian—report

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SYLVANIA, OHIO – JULY 08: Yuka Saso of the Philippines hits her second shot on the 10th hole during the first round of the Marathon LPGA Classic presented by Dana at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio on July 08, 2021 in Sylvania, Ohio. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Gregory Shamus / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Yuka Saso, the 20-year-old from the Philippines who won the U.S. Women’s Open last month, pulled out of the LPGA Tour’s next major, the Evian Championship.

Golfweek reported Sunday that Saso, who had originally committed to play in France in the fourth major of the season, has decided instead to skip it.

Saso defeated Japan’s Nasa Hataoka in a playoff to win the U.S. Women’s Open for her first major title. She is No. 8 in the women’s world golf rankings.

A reason for Saso’s withdrawal was not revealed, but the Evian is part of a grueling month-long stretch for the women’s tour as it crams two majors (the Evian and the Women’s Open at Carnoustie) plus the Tokyo Games in the span of a month, July 22 to Aug. 22.

Danielle Kang (No. 5 in the world), Lexi Thompson (No. 9), Hataoka (No. 12), Australia’s Hannah Green (No. 15) and Shanshan Feng (No. 20) of China also opted not to play the Evian with the Olympics on the horizon. Without Saso, six of the top 20 players in the world won’t compete in France.

The field still includes No. 1 Nelly Korda, who won the LPGA’s most recent major, the Women’s PGA Championship; No. 2 Jin Young Ko, the defending Evian champion from 2019; and 2021 ANA Inspiration champion Patty Tavatanakit (No. 12) of Thailand, among other stars.

The Evian is scheduled for July 22-25. It was not contested in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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