Yuka Saso wins second US Women's Open golf crown

<a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Japan;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Japan</a>'s Yuka Saso celebrates after holing a putt at the 72nd hole on the way to victory in the US Women's Open (Patrick Smith)

Japan's Yuka Saso powered away on the back nine to win her second US Women's Open title Sunday, carding a two-under-par 68 for a three-shot victory at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania.

Saso finished with a four-under-par total of 276 to claim her second LPGA tour title three years after winning the US Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

She's just the third player, after South Koreans Pak Se-ri and Chun In-gee, to make her first two LPGA wins major titles and at 22 she's the youngest player to win the US Women's Open twice.

To do it, Saso shook off a four-putt double-bogey at the par-three sixth, grabbing birdies at four holes in a five-hole stretch from the 12th through the 16th to pull away as a trio of overnight co-leaders headlined by Australian Minjee Lee faded.

Japan's Hinako Shibuno, who won the 2019 Women's British Open in her major championship debut, carded a two-over-par 72 to finish second on one-under 279.

She was a stroke clear of overnight co-leader Andrea Lee and American Ally Ewing. Ewing climbed the leaderboard with a four-under 66 while Lee carded a five-over 75.

Third-round co-leader Wichanee Meechai of Thailand shot a 77 to finish in a group on 282 while two-time major winner Minjee Lee endured a nightmare round of 78 to fall into a group on 283.

Australia's Lee still had a two-shot lead through nine holes, despite failing to find a fairway on the front nine.

But as her mistakes mounted, Saso found her groove, drilling a 10-foot birdie putt at the 12th and taking the solo lead with a birdie at the par-five 13th.

She added another pair of birdies at 15 and 16, driving the green at the short par-four 16th.

She was still in the driver's seat after a three-putt bogey at 17 and she delivered a superb chip from in front of the green for a two-putt par at the 18th that sealed it.

"I just tried to be patient out there, I think that's what you need to win a major like this, said Saso, who is the fourth player, man or woman, to win one of golf's major championships representing Japan.

In 2021 she was still playing for the Philippines, where she was born, but Saso, whose father is Japanese, has since opted for Japanese citizenship.