Pagdanganan, Saso slide further behind in Olympic golf

Nelson Beltran - Agence France-Presse
Pagdanganan, Saso slide further behind in Olympic golf
Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan
AFP photos

TOKYO – The rally hoped for from the Filipina golfers didn’t come but a continued struggle in sweltering heat that left them further behind after 36 holes of the Olympic women’s golf competition Thursday.

Bianca Pagdanganan and Yuka Saso, teeing off when the temperature at the Kasumigaseki Country Club was meanest, hardly got into the groove and were unable to keep up with the scorching pace set by American Nelly Korda in the second round.         

TRACKER: Yuka Saso at the Tokyo Olympics

Pagdanganan fired an even-par 71 and dropped 20 rungs down to 27th, 11 shots off new leader Korda who sizzled with a tournament-best nine-under 62 for a 129 aggregate.

Saso, meanwhile, carded a three-under 68 highlighted by five birdies against two bogeys but remained way off at 142.

Pagdanganan and Saso's hopes for a comeback are under threat from an approaching typhoon that could force organizers to cut the tournament to 54 holes.

An abbreviated tournament will all but dash the hopes of the two Filipinos who will need the last two rounds to storm back into contention.

Pagdanganan stayed at two-under as she blew away the momentum of a birdie-birdie run from No. 5, thus fading from joint fifth early in the day to a tie at 27th with a host of contenders.

TRACKER: Bianca Pagdanganan at the Tokyo Olympics

She was actually still at two-under for the round through 12 holes.

But she lost a shot on a bogey on No. 13 and ended up even for the day as he holed out with another bogey.

Korda put together a tournament-best nine-under and opened a four-shot lead on a 36-hole total of 129. She had a 67 in the first round.

Nanna Koerstz Madsen of Denmark (64), Aditi Ashok of India (66), and Emily Pedersen of Denmark (63) are tied for second place at nine-under while overnight leader Madelene Swagstrom of Sweden is alone at fifth with an eight-under after a 68.

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