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Champion Pinay golfer jettisons citizenship

Republika

Like compatriot chess grandmaster Wesley So before her, champion golfer Yuka Saso has opted to abandon her Philippine citizenship in favor of Japan in furtherance of a lucrative international playing career.


“I chose Japan because of its nationality law,” Saso – who is the current 2021 US Women’s Open title holder – was quoted by foreign media as saying.


The 20-year old Saso was born to a Japanese father and Filipino mother.
Under Japanese law, dual citizens (which Saso is) must choose their nationality when they reach the age of 22.


Saso has donned the Philippines’ colors since she began competing overseas as an amateur, and the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.


Aside from the Japan LPGA tour, Saso also plays in the rich US LPGA circuit where she has a 5-year membership by virtue of her winning the US Women’s Open earlier this year.


Saso is the second prominent Philippine sports star to have abandoned Philippine citizenship. The first to have done so was chess whiz kid Wesley So who chose to play for the United States because officials of the Philippine Chess Federation (PCF) allegedly did not give him the support he needed to excel on the world state.


As of October 2021, So (who has a FIDE rating of 2778) is the No. 6 chess player in the world. His peak ranking was No. 2 in 2017.

Photo: BusinessWorld Online


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