Pagdanganan makes LPGA cut for 7th time
Bianca Pagdanganan
AFP
Pagdanganan makes LPGA cut for 7th time
Dante Navarro (Philstar.com) - November 21, 2020 - 3:36pm

MANILA, Philippines — Bianca Pagdanganan stretched her run of consecutive cuts made in the LPGA Tour to seven, carding a one-under 69 though she fell 10 strokes off new leader and world No. 2 Sei Young Kim of Korea halfway through the Pelican Women’s Championship in Belleair, Florida Friday.

After fumbling with an opening round three-over 73 at the short but challenging Pelican Golf Club layout, Pagdanganan reeled farther back with a bogey on No. 1 but recovered with back-to-back birdies on the next. She dropped another stroke on the eighth but struck back with another pair of birdies from No. 13 before yielding another shot on No. 16.

But her 35-34 card was enough to lift her from joint 63rd to a share of 37th at 142, safely into another weekend stint that has marked her rookie campaign since ending up tied for 28th in the LPGA Drive On Championship in Ohio last July.

Still, she was way off flightmate Kim, who flaunted her world class skills to shoot a bogey-less five-under 65 to take command at 132, a shot ahead of American Ally McDonald, who shot a 66 for a 133, while England’s Stephanie Meadow matched Kim’s five-under card to joint erstwhile leader Sophia Popov of Germany at 134.
Popov, who ruled this year’s British Women’s Open to jump from world No. 304 to No. 24, hit three birdies but a bogey and a double-bogey derailed her bid as she settled for a 70 after a 64 to drop three spots off the pace.

Though Pagdanganan, whose LPGA Tour campaign is backed by ICTSI, stood too far behind to pose a threat, she was in a stellar group that includes world No. 6 Nasa Hataoka of Japan (71) and world No. 12 Jeong Eun Lee6 of Korea (69), among others, and a stroke ahead of world No. 1 Jin Young Ko, also of Korea, who groped for a 71 after a 72 for a 143.

The 23-year-old Filipina rookie, the tour’s driving leader whose best finish in a young career was third in last month's Drive On Championship in Georgia, cranked up off the mound with a 282-yard norm after a 265-yard average Thursday but struggled with her iron play, missing the greens seven times. But she put in an impressive 27-putt performance that anchored her second round campaign.

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