Saki Baba wins the U.S. Women’s Amateur and brings a new victory to the Japanese golf world | Golf news and tour information
In 2021, Tsubasa Kajitani won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, and a few days later, Hideki Matsuyama won the Masters. Keita Nakajima has been ranked number one in the men’s amateur rankings for 104 consecutive weeks. And six of the world’s top 30 female professionals are Japanese. Now her 17-year-old sensation, born in Tokyo, Saki Baba has played almost flawlessly all week at Chambers in her Bay at the University of Washington Her Place and dominated the All-American Women’s Amateur Victory.
The Japanese golf world will surely smile at the expected result of an amateur player ranked 45th in the world.
Baba’s 11-9 victory over 21-year-old Monet Chun of Canada is the third-largest winning percentage in the history of the championship. She became the first Japanese player in 37 years since Michiko Hattori won the title in 1985 at the age of 16.
Bubba looked unstoppable all day at the former US Open venue. Up seven on the morning of the 18th, Baba made short mistakes on the 20th and 21st holes, giving back two to Chun, who is playing for the University of Michigan. However, the temporary slump did not last long. Bubba won her six holes in a row and finished the match on her 27th hole of the day. The Japan Wellness High School student sealed the victory in expert fashion by sinking a midrange birdie putt on the par-3 10th hole.
“It was pretty amazing just to watch,” Chong said. “She was hitting every pin and making every putt, and she’s hard to match.”
Bubba credits a large part of the confidence she’s had this week to her local Chambers Bay caddy Bo Brashert.
“I think it was Bo, the caddy, who really helped me,” Baba said through an interpreter. “It was really nice how we were reading everything.”
The two were randomly matched at the beginning of the week and developed an effective system to combat the language barrier.
“We’ve grown accustomed to sign language,” Brashert said. “And I’m a great artist in Yardage her book with stick figures. I’m good at drawing stick figures. I just told her where to put it and yeah, she did the rest. She’s great.”
Baba, who plays at Forest Narusawa Golf & Country Club in the suburbs of Tokyo, belongs to the Japan Golf Association’s international team at home. At 5-foot-7, she takes her inspiration from golf idol Nelly Coda.
Until this summer, Baba was new to competitive golf in the United States, but you couldn’t deduce from her stellar results in three USGA championships. , and later became one of four amateurs to qualify at the Pine Needles in June.Then at the U.S. Girls Juniors in Oldstone, Bowling Green, Kentucky, Baba earned co-medalist honors and reached the 32nd round. Vigil explained Baba’s lack of match play experience twitter: “I refereeed Saki’s Round of 64 match at #USGirlsJunior and it was her first match play. She didn’t even know how to allow a putt.”
Despite being unfamiliar at first, Bubba has spent the past week telling the media how excited he is about playing golf in the United States and how it’s made him feel at home. told
“The people here are really nice people, so I was really happy to meet them,” Baba said earlier this week. is very different, and that made me happy.”
Baba’s summer in the United States would not have been possible without the amateur golf rule changes that took place in January. He said he would have had to borrow money for the trip if no company had tried. A wise investment, so to speak.
The finalists Baba and Chun have qualified for the 2023 U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach. Bubba’s impressive first summer play on her American golf scene portends a promising future for the latest young Japanese star.