Pagdanganan living a dream, inspiring the youth
Bianca Pagdanganan

Pagdanganan living a dream, inspiring the youth

Dante Navarro (The Philippine Star) - October 22, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Next to working on achieving her goals in golf’s biggest arena, Bianca Pagdanganan is doing all she could to inspire the youth all over the world, especially back home, to take up the sport where she has quite made an impact so early in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour.

“Hopefully, we just get to inspire younger girls to pick up the sport. I think that’s one of my goals as a professional golfer,” Pagdanganan told LPGA.com. “It’s really fun. You get to learn so much.”

The 22-year-old University of Arizona product is basking on the tremendous support she has been receiving, particularly on social media, after her remarkable joint ninth-place finish in her first major championship, the Women’s PGA in Pennsylvania two weeks ago. She hopes to use it as motivation to further improve her craft in pursuit of golfing glory.

“The support has been pretty crazy,” said Pagdanganan, who picked up golf at age seven out of curiosity for his father’s sport. “I see it a lot on Facebook. I get tagged in all these posts and sometimes I get to read the comments. You can tell people are getting excited knowing that more Filipinos are getting on tour.”

Truly, with Yuka Saso doing her own thing in the lucrative LPGA of Japan Tour, where she has posted two early victories to lead in the money derby, Philipppine golf has gotten into the mainstream the last decade or so with the local pro circuit producing younger, more dynamic players of mixed backgrounds.

Playing the sport, according to Pagdanganan, isn’t just about the competition but “more of learning about oneself and just developing one’s own character.”

Five tournaments into the LPGA, the ICTSI-backed ace has indeed made some waves, specifically with her driving prowess that has put her on top of the average distance ranking at 286 yards, four yards longer than former leader Maria Fassi of Mexico.

But she has always downplayed her immense power while stressing the need to get better in all aspects of the game to reach a highly competitive level.

“You just start to realize that there are other parts of your game that you need to polish,” she said.

For now, she wants to relish the feeling of being in some sort of a spotlight and living a dream (of playing on golf’s biggest stage).

“As a rookie, you just try to soak in all the experiences, try to take things from events you played in and that you are about to play,” she said. “It makes you feel very excited to play more events and just knowing that you get to live you dream.”

Her next event is the LPGA Drive On Championship-Reynolds Lake Oconee, which gets under way Thursday in Greensboro, Georgia, and  where she hopes to churn out a stronger, better finish against some of the world’s best.

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