Bianca in contention for LPGA title
Bianca Pagdanganan
STAR/File
Bianca in contention for LPGA title
Dante Navarro (The Philippine Star) - October 25, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — To say that Bianca Pagdanganan is on a roll is an understatement. For the rookie Filipina ace is red-hot, pounding the Great Waters’ four par-5s with birdies and picking up a couple more with superb iron play for a 67 and a clear shot at a dream LPGA victory.

A pair of brilliant rounds, however, doesn’t make a champion player but with her confidence building up and the momentum swinging her way, the 22-year-old old SEA Games double-gold medalist could be heading to a breakthrough just six tournaments into her rookie season on the world’s premier golf stage.

“At some point, you’re going to have to put yourself in contention to understand what it’s like to play on that level,” Pagdanganan, who opened with a 68, told The STAR. “I’ll stick to my game plan and not force anything to happen just like I have these past two rounds.”

From joint sixth and three shots off first round co-leaders Daniella Kang and Jennifer Song of the US in the LPGA Drive On Championship-Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia, the rising Filipina star came threateningly close at joint second with a 135 in a tie with world No. 5 Kang, who carded a 70 and winner of the first two legs of the pandemic-shortened LPGA season.

They stood just a stroke off new pacesetter Ally McDonald, also of the US, who assembled a 134 after a 68, with two rounds left.

After churning out a remarkable joint ninth finish in her first major event, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in Pennsylvania two weeks ago, the ICTSI-backed ace knew she could measure up with the best and the brightest.

With her 36-hole performance, she probably has more than delivered her point.

Sustaining her scorching frontside finish of 32 in the first round, Pagdanganan birdied three of the first seven holes inside seven feet after a switch in tee-times then rebounded from a bogey on No. 8 with three more birdies, including on the par-5 18th where she had to choose between an 8- or 9-iron for a second shot from 165 yards after another monstrous drive.

BIANCA PAGDANGANAN
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