Bianca Pagdanganan eyes big Arkansas bounce-back
Bianca Pagdanganan of the Philippines hits a tee shot on the ninth hole during the first round of the Marathon LPGA Classic at Highland Meadows Golf Club on August 06, 2020 in Sylvania, Ohio.
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America/AFP
Bianca Pagdanganan eyes big Arkansas bounce-back
Dante Navarro ( - August 11, 2020 - 2:05pm

MANILA, Philippines – Not one to dwell on what could’ve been, Bianca Pagdanganan is seeing all the positives from her first two weeks on the world’s premier ladies golf circuit, seeking to get better, stronger and wiser heading to her next LPGA mission in Arkansas.

Though she wound up joint 28th in her pro debut at Drive On Championship in Ohio, the 2017 Philippine Ladies Open titlist made quite a stir when she bested the Tour’s noted hitters and veteran campaigners to clinch the driving honors with an astounding 295-yard norm.

Then came her big second round act in the Marathon LPGA Classic, also in Ohio, that saw her record a rare two-eagle feat that spiked a 67 and thrust her to joint eighth, sparking hopes for a big finish for the power-hitting Filipina so early in her pro campaign.

But that remained a promise as she would succumb to pressure when the going got tough, losing her focus and poise when it mattered most and limping with a third round 77 to hobble to a share of 59th in the end.

But motivated rather than discouraged, the 22-year-old SEA Games double gold medalist vowed to do better in the $2.3 million NW Arkankas Championship on Aug. 28-30, armed with a mindset firmed up by the two stimulating tournaments.

“Dealing with pressure does take a lot of mental toughness but even at this point, I’m still learning,” said Pagdanganan. “I guess it’s just a matter of controlling your emotions, following your game plan and trusting yourself. 

Admitting she was far from reaching peak form in her first two pro events, Pagdanganan stressed the need to sharpen her short game, noting a number of missed chances in the ill-fated third round of the Marathon Classic.

“The last two weeks weren’t my best weeks in terms of ball-striking. But if there’s anything else I should improve on, it would really be my short game. Especially with how I struggled with my approach shots, I could’ve saved pars if I just had better short game last week,” said the 2018 Asian Games bronze medalist, who is skipping this week’s Scottish Open to toughen up and hone her skills.

She has also accentuated the need to stay focused at all times.

“One thing I did learn in the Marathon Classic was that I should control the things I control. I lost focus because of outside factors that weren’t in my control when I should’ve just focused on myself and my game,” she said.

That should make her A-ready for the Arkansas tilt in two weeks time.

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