Bianca wavers; Dottie recovers
Bianca Pagdanganan
Bianca wavers; Dottie recovers
Dante Navarro (The Philippine Star) - August 10, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Bianca Pagdanganan failed to sustain a brilliant second round charge and hobbled with a six-over 77 on a backside struggle as she tumbled from joint eighth to a share of 62nd even as Lydia Ko of New Zealand pulled away by four with a 68 after three rounds of the Marathon LPGA Classic in Sylvania, Ohio Saturday.

Dottie Ardina, meanwhile, bucked the odds and shot a two-under 69, improving further to joint 49th at 211 but lay 14 shots behind the fired-up Ko, who gunned down two late birdies to anchor a 68 for a 16-under 197.

The former world No. 1 Ko, who had gone 44 tournaments worldwide without a win, thus built a four-shot cushion on last week’s Drive On Championship winner Danielle Kang, who birdied No. 17 to save a 70 for a 201 while Minjee Lee of Australia and England’s Jodi Shadoff pooled identical 203s after a 68 and 73, respectively.

Just when Pagdanganan thought she had the Highland Meadows layout all figured out after sizzling with a 67 on a pair of rare eagles Friday, Pagdanganan lost her rhythm and touch while tackling the unreceptive greens at the back, limping with an awful 42 for the 77 that dropped her into the near-bottom of the surviving 80-player field.

“It happens. I ended my first nine (35) pretty good and I thought I could keep the momentum going,” said Pagdanganan, who checked a three-bogey mishap from No. 3 with back-to-back birdies from No. 8.

But she bogeyed Nos. 10 and 14 and dropped two strokes on Nos. 11 and 15 against a birdie on No. 16 and muffed birdie chances in the last two holes which she eagled from 10 feet in the second round.

“The greens at the back were a lot firmer than what I expected, so it was quite an adjustment from the soft surface that we’ve been playing. But there’s still a round left,” she added.

But with a 213 total and now 16 strokes off Ko, the 22-year-old rookie would need to go low Sunday to gain ground in the $1.7 million championship.

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