University Place, Washington – Saki Baba, the 17 year old sensation from Japan put on a show Sunday at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at Chambers Bay. Baba defeated Monet Chun of Canada (Chun is a junior at the University of Michigan), 11 and 9, under perfect Pacific Northwest conditions just outside of Tacoma. Baba became just the second player from Japan to win a USGA championship, (Michiko Hattori won the Women’s Amateur title ’85).
Baba blitzed Chun from the start and finished the early session 7 up thru 18 holes. Despite suffering from some lower back pain during the break between the two sessions, Baba kept the pressure on after dropping a few early holes on the front 9 and closed Chun out on the par 5 eighth.
“It’s just amazing. I just can’t believe it,” Baba said via translator. “I was able to play my kind of golf. Yeah, everything just went smoothly.”
“If she made a mistake, lost a hole, it woke her up and she bounced right back,” said Beau Brushert, the Chambers Bay caddie who had Baba bag’s this week. “She didn’t let it get her down. She’s amazing. She’s a lot of fun to watch.”
“I’m extremely proud. I couldn’t have imagined making it this far, and being here, it’s an incredible honor and also just great to represent [the University of] Michigan and Canada, as well.” – U.S. Women’s Amateur runner-up Monet Chun.
Baba’s play was extraordinary throughout the bag, her win was the third largest in the championship’s history.