Her rookie year in 2017 on the LPGA Tour featured more missed cuts than made cuts, and her start in the current 2018 season was relatively slow, but Japan’s Nasa Hataoka has been coming on like gangbusters lately, taking the tour by storm. She won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship and a week later shot a final round 64 to get into a playoff for the KMPGA Women’s PGA Championship, where she was eliminated on the first hole. Hataoka has now finished in the top 10 in five out of her last six tournaments. At just 19 years old, Hataoka is poised for stardom. In 2016, she won the Japan Women’s Open Championship, becoming the youngest person and first amateur to win a major championship on the Japan LPGA Tour. Her mother named her Nasa for, yes, America’s space program, wanting her daughter to “shoot for the stars.” At this rate, she will certainly accomplish that feat.
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