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The rare albatross lands—again!—at LPGA tournament

March 24, 2023
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Yuka Saso scored the first albatross of her career in the second round of the LPGA Drive On Championship.

Meg Oliphant

An albatross is rare in any week at a professional golf event. After all, making a 2 on a par 5 happens far less frequently than holes-in-one, with only 48 of them in the LPGA Tour's 73-year history.

Yet Superstition Mountain Golf Club in Gold Canyon, Ariz., has celebrated two this week at the Drive On Championship, with major winner Yuka Saso holing out on the par-5 second for a deuce during the second round on Friday. She joined PGA of America pro Roy Smith, who made his albatross as a participant in the tournament’s pro-am on Wednesday.

Saso said she hit her hybrid from 217 yards on the line she wanted. She walked up to cheers from the fans, but didn’t understand why. Groupmate Sei Young Kim settled the confusion, pointing out that her ball dropped into the cup.

"My ball wasn't on the green, so I was, like, why are they clapping? Is it over? Why is everyone clapping if it's not on the green?” Saso said.

It's the first albatross of the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open winner’s career, and the first on tour since Lindsey Weaver scored one in the 2020 ShopRite LPGA Classic.

The 2 fueled Saso’s six-under-par 66, moving her to eight under and T-15 heading into the weekend of the Drive On. The 21-year-old is hunting for her third top-10 of the season.

Instead of imagining how her weekend might go, the Rolex Women's World Rankings No. 29 kept the excellent shot in perspective.

“It was one of my dreams to get one, but we all know how hard it is to get one,” she said. “They say you're lucky if you ever get one in your golf career. I guess I was very lucky to have it."