Bianca 34th despite eagle-spiked 69
Bianca Pagdanganan
Mike Comer/Getty Images/AFP

Bianca 34th despite eagle-spiked 69

Dante Navarro (The Philippine Star) - November 24, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Rookie Bianca Pagdanganan closed out with a 69 laced with a late eagle but could only finish tied for 34th place in the Pelican Women’s Championship ruled by world No. 2 Korean Sei Young Kim in Belleair, Florida last Sunday.

Hard-pressed to come up with a strong finish, the 23-year-old LPGA Tour’s driving leader failed to put it all together after a birdie on No. 13 in her backside start at the par-70 Pelican Golf Club as she bogeyed the par-3 15th and settled for a run of pars all the way to No. 6.

But she hacked a power hit on No. 7 and went on to eagle the par-5 hole only to hole out with another bogey on the par-3 ninth for a 34-35 and a 72-hole total of 283. She pocketed $9,106.

It was 17 strokes behind Kim, who needed just a level par to secure a three-shot victory on a 14-under 266 over American Ally McDonald, her second straight after dominating the Women’s PGA Championship by five in her return to the Tour following a forced isolation due to the global health crisis.

The victory is also expected to net Kim the world top ranking as erstwhile No. 1 and compatriot Jin Young Ko struggled with a 71 and finished tied with the ICTSI-backed Pagdanganan at 283. Also in the group was Japanese world No. 5 Nasa Hataoka, who also shot a 69.

But Pagdanganan’s finish was a far cry from her career-best third-place effort in her previous tournament in the Drive On Championship in Georgia after another remarkable joint ninth-place feat in a major, the Women’s PGA, in Pennsylvania, that gained her a coveted berth in the world’s premier event, the US Women’s Open, next month in Houston.

She hopes to pick up her game and build up for the US Open in this week’s Volunteers of American Classic in The Colony, Texas. The US Open will be played Dec. 8-11 at the Champions Golf Club in Texas where the 23-year-old Pagdanganan will be joined by 2018 Asian Games gold medal teammate Yuka Saso.

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