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Nasa Hataoka

Nasa Hatoaka Cutout

Named after the American space agency, Hataoka was only 17 when she became the first amateur and youngest player to win the Japan Women’s Open.

That was in 2016 and after representing her country in the Espirito Santo Women’s World Team Championship later that year she turned professional. In her rookie season she made a successful defence of the Japan Open and then in 2018 won twice on the LPGA Tour and in the KPMG PGA Championship shot a closing 64 from nine strokes back to be part of a three-way play-off with Koreans Park Sung-hyun and Ryu So-yeon. Park won at the second extra hole.

Four more LPGA titles have followed, most recently this April, as well as a third Japan Open and at the 2021 US Women's Open she went into sudden death again, this time against Yuka Saso, who won at the third play-off hole.