The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, July 18, 2019
Junior PGA Championship recap — Interview with champion Yuka Saso — Must-click links in women's golf
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A Look Back
Hello! Long time no talk (not really). I got back from the Girls Junior PGA Championship last Saturday and now our team hits a little bit of a slow stretch. We’ll cover the Boys Junior PGA Championship at the end of July, but after that, we won’t have many PGA events going on until September and October. I will be going on vacation next week with my family, which I’m pretty excited about!
In other news, last week’s newsletter was all about Rose Zhang and how good she was playing and how good she is, so I think I may have jinxed her. She was still in the final pairing, but had a tough final round and dropped back. It ended up coming down to Jensen Castle and Yuka Saso, who traded shots for awhile until Saso pulled about on the back nine.
I was waiting on the 18 green for the finish, and overheard a couple gentlemen talking about Saso and Castle. It was fascinating how they described the two of them—Jensen as a fierce competitor and just being able to see that in the way she walks, and Saso who carries herself with more of a quiet confidence. Not going to lie, I think his observation is spot on! They were a fun duo to watch play against each other.
I also got a text from a friend during the third round saying that Yuka has her own hashtag/mantra. Of course, working in social media, I was all over that. I started using the hashtag #SasoGood (thanks to the inside scoop from my dear friend) every time I posted about her. Our PR team also ended up using that as part of the headline. I don’t know what’s going through your head, BUT I’M ALWAYS HERE FOR THE WIT.
I also just had one more thing to add while it’s top of mind, which is unrelated to the Girls Junior PGA. I came across a tweet that asked this question. “Why is it, in this day and age, we still have women’s golf clubs? Feels like we can get away from slapping pink and purple on stuff, and just making golf clubs that are weighted for slower swing speeds for men, women, kids, seniors, whoever. Is that crazy?”
I took it as something similar to the March Madness and Final Four debate—why do we have to call it the Women’s Final Four? Why isn’t it the Men’s Final Four? And is the women’s tournament not considered March Madness? I feel we’re stuck in the middle of either eliminating gender-descriptions altogether or adding men/women/boys/girls in front of everything. I felt like that’s where he was going with this tweet. Instead of calling them women’s clubs, why not just categorize them by swing speed, size, etc. After I looked at the comments, I think it was interpreted in a lot of different ways.
That’s all for today, friends. Talk next week!
This Week in Women’s Golf
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The LPGA’s first Bay Lakes Invitational team-event is underway in Michigan.
Canadians Henderson and Sharp led after round one, but these two are leading now!
English golfer Mel Reid lost a bet & paid up in a hilarious way after the USWNT win.
Suzann Pettersen is back in the field this week for the first time since giving birth.
Belen Mozo is stepping away from life inside the ropes, she announced in her blog.
A day-in-the-life of Stacy Lewis as a LPGA Tour mom.
Sei Young Kim is the latest LPGA winner after the Marathon Classic.
The U.S. Girls Junior Championship tees off next week! Take a look at the 2019 field.
Speaking of junior golf, Yuka Saso came from behind to win the Girls Junior PGA.
Saso’s win = automatic invitation into the 2020 Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
Brittany Lincicome spoke out about what happened with her premature birth.
This women’s golf team leads the nation in team GPA.
Awful news out of Utah, where a young girl died after being hit by an errant ball.
Tweet of the Week
Five at The IX: Yuka Saso
Yuka Saso was the talk of the town last week after winning the 2019 Girls Junior PGA Championship at Keney Park in Hartford, Connecticut. If you missed it up top, this means she will get to play in the 2020 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, if she retains her amateur status. She finished sixth place in last year’s championship and came from behind to win it all last week, despite some tremendous play from Jensen Castle, who finished runner-up. She’s a girl of few words! But as you can probably tell in her interview, was just grateful to be there and to get the win. This victory moved her to No. 24 in the junior world rankings.
You’ve won a lot of events, but what are your emotions after winning this one?
Winning in the United States is really special to me. It’s really hard to do since I live in Asia. I’m just really happy and thankful.
Did your mentality change after you took the lead on No. 12?
Not really—my goal this week was to play steady and I think I did that well.
How did you get yourself back on track after a rocky start?
I didn’t really feel good on the front nine. I mean, from the tee, it’s really hard for me. When I started to bogey, I said it’s okay, I still have the back nine. I was very relaxed.
How big is it for you to win an amateur tournament like this in the United States?
There are a lot of college coaches that come here to look for players and this tournament has a big ranking in the Rolex Rankings and World Amateur Golf Rankings. This will help me a lot. I’m really thankful for this experience.
Because you’ve won events before, does that make it easier coming into the final round behind?
Not really. I get nervous easily but lately I’m trying to focus on my game. That’s where I put my focus and not thinking of anybody. That helped me this week. Jensen is really playing good but I wasn’t really focusing on that. I was just focusing on what shot I want to shoot and what score I want to get.