Pagdanganan back in hunt with 69 but Ardina falters in LPGA Q-Series

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Pagdanganan back in hunt with 69 but Ardina falters in LPGA Q-Series
Bianca Pagdanganan (L) and Dottie Ardina

MANILA, Philippines — Bianca Pagdanganan and Dottie Ardina turned in contrasting results at Crossings Friday but both remained in the hunt in Week 1 of the two-part LPGA Q-Series paced by Swede Linnea Johansson and Korean Na Rin Na in Dothan, Alabama.

Needing to rebound from a so-so 75 at the Falls layout Thursday, Pagdanganan did just that, taming the par-72 Crossings course of the Magnolia Grove with her vaunted power game, putting up a strong start and a stronger finish to fire an eagle-spiked 69 and gain a 37-spot jump from a share of 101st to joint 64th.

But Ardina failed to match her fellow ICTSI-backed shotmaker's big rebound, bogeying two of the last four holes to settle for a 72, also at Crossings, and stay below the projected cutoff line for the Top 70 plus ties who will advance to the last of two 72-hole qualifiers for 2022 LPGA cards among 110 bidders.

Pagdanganan birdied two of the first three par-5s then eagled the last, her 36-33 card putting her back in the hunt with a 144 total.

Ardina stood just below the line with a 145 as she bogeyed two of the last four holes, blowing a two-under card she had built after bucking a bogey on No. 2 with birdies on Nos. 6, 8 and 14.

But she failed to go up-and-down on No. 15 then missed the green again on the par-3 17th to end up with a 37 and a 72 after a 73 at the nearby Falls course Thursday.

In contrast, Pagdanganan bounced back strong from a poor opening 75, also at Falls, as she birdied the opening hole, missed a chance on the first par-5 on No. 4 but gained a stroke on the next (No. 6). 

Though she blew them just as quickly with mishaps on Nos. 7 and 9, she birdied the third par-5 (No. 13) then overcame another bogey on the 15th with an eagle on the next then knocked down another birdie on the 17th to anchor her fiery round.

At joint 64th, Pagdanganan is back in the race for one of the Top 45-plus-ties spots for next year’s LPGA season.

But six rounds remain in the demanding qualifier with a host of talented players likewise pressing their respective bids. Johansson and Na matched 67s, also at Crossings, and forged ahead with 134s while a shot back at 135 were Hye Jin Choi, also of Korea, who rallied with a 66, and erstwhile frontrunner Emily Pedersen of Denmark, who slowed down with a 70 after a 65.

Japanese Ayaka Furue also firmed up his LPGA bid with a 67 to move to joint fifth at 136 with French Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, who carded a 67, American Janie Jackson, who shot a 68, and Canada’s Selena Costable, who turned in a 69, while Malayisan Kelly Tan sparkled with a 66 to lead the 137 scorers at ninth who include Americans Kaitlyn Papp and Haylee Harford, who shot 67 and 69, respectively.

Fancied Thai Atthaya Thitikul also rebounded big from a 73 at Crossings with a sizzling 65 at the tougher Falls course, spiking her round with four birdies in the last six holes to gain a share of 12th at 138 with Germany’s Sophie Hausmann, Caroline Inglis of the US and Chinese Ruoning Yin, who all fired 69s, and Taiwanese Peiyun Chien, who fumbled with a 72.

Week 2 of the two-part series will be held at the Highland Oaks Golf Course on December 9 to 12.

Meanwhile, joining Ardina at 72nd are American Beth Wu, who shot a 71, Japanese Hinako Shibuno, who matched par 72, both at Crossings, Canadian Alena Sharp and Thai Pavarisa Yoktuan, who both groped for 73s at Falls.

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