The head of the National Golf Association of the Philippines has expressed his pride at US Women’s Open winner Yuka Saso as the golfer chose to represent Japan but said her decision will not stop the development of the sport in the country. “First, we are sad that she is made to make such a difficult decision. But Japanese law is specific on citizenship and it is what it is,” NGAP secretary general Bones Floro told Channel 5’s Martie Bautista, with the reporter tweeting the statement. Saso, 20, made her breakthrough with a win at Olympic Club in June and went on to represent the Philippines at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games this summer, finishing ninth. Earlier this week both Japanese and Philippines media reported that the golfer – whose father is Japanese – would be choosing to be a Japanese citizen. JUST IN: Official statement by National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP) secretary-general, Bones Floro, on Yuka Saso’s decision. @News5PH pic.twitter.com/kMcOD2A2EE — Martie (@martie_bautista) November 5, 2021 “It is true that I chose the Japanese citizenship,” Saso said during a press conference on Wednesday ahead of the Toto Japan Classic in Shiga, as reported by Japan’s Kyodo News. “I thought about it and I will eventually choose it,” she added ahead of the tournament which runs from November 4-7. Who is Yuka Saso? Meet the teen US Women’s Open champion Japan does not recognise dual citizenship and those eligible for two nationalities – such as Saso, whose mother is from the Philippines – are forced to decide at 22. “We are obviously also sad she won’t be flying our flag on paper. But we are very proud of Yuka not just for her tremendous achievements, but most especially for keeping us Filipinos always in her heart,” Floro said. “I personally don’t think it will impact the future of Philippine golf in a negative way. Our younger generation will still continue to be inspired by our golfing heroes and strive for success.” Philippine teen Saso edges Hataoka in play-off to win US Open Saso was born in the Phillipines before moving to Japan aged four. She then returned to the Philippines at eight and was homeschooled through high school to concentrate on her golf career. She was based in Japan last year for the Japan LPGA Tour after failing to qualify for the US LPGA Tour. Saso, who won gold for the Philippines at the 2018 Asian Games in both the individual and team events, is currently No 6 in the world. She is the youngest player in the women’s top 10. The 20-year-old finished the first day in Shiga on one-under par, tied for 24th.