Pagdanganan rallies with eagle-spiked 69 but misses LPGA cut by 1

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Pagdanganan rallies with eagle-spiked 69 but misses LPGA cut by 1
Bianca Pagdanganan
Mike Comer / Getty Images / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Bianca Pagdanganan charged back from a 76 start with an eagle-spiked 69 Friday but still missed the cut by one in the JTBC Classic now paced by in-form Nanna Madsen at the Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, California.

Needing to go low to revive her hopes of making it to the weekend play of the $1.5 million championship following a disastrous pair of 38s that dropped her to joint 124th in a field of 144, the Filipina power hitter buckled down to work early and eagled the par-5 No. 5. Though she tripped with a bogey on the seventh, she recovered the stroke on the next and hit two more birdies on Nos. 11 and 13 to go four-under and above the projected cutoff line at even par 144.

But a bogey on No. 16 all but ruined her bid as she settled for pars in the last two holes, including on the par-5 17th, for 34-35 and a 145.

The ICTSI-backed shotmaker continued to struggle with her long game, missing five fairways but she hit all but two greens although she flubbed a couple of chances on the greens and finished with 32 putts.

Madsen, meanwhile, sustained top form coming off a victory in the Honda LPGA Thailand, firing a 67 to take command at 133, now two shots clear of Kiwi Lydia Ko, who also shot a five-under card for a 135, the same output put in by Korean Hye Jin Choi, who put in a 68.

After a sterling lead-grabbing 65 Thursday, world No. 1 Jin Young Ko reeled with back-to-back bogeys from No. 2 and though she struck with three birdies to save a 71, her one-under round ended a Tour record of 16 consecutive rounds in the 60s.

She slipped to fourth at 136 but still within striking distance for a second straight crown in as many events she had competed in the early going of the season following her victory in the Women’s World Championship in Singapore.

Over on the Epson Tour, Dottie Ardina survived a wild backside start with a decent windup as she salvaged an even par 72 but trailed Spain’s Nuria Iturrioz by six at the start of the IOA Championship at the Morongo Casino Resort and Spa in Beaumont, California, also Friday.

In a sprint race, the $200,000 kickoff leg of the LPGA farm league being a 54-hole event, Ardina blew a three-birdie, two-bogey card after seven holes with a double-bogey on the 18th but recovered with two birdies against a bogey in the first four holes at the front before parring the rest for a 35-37.

But that dropped her to joint 41st as 40 players dominated the par-72 layout with under-par scores, led by Iturrioz, who turned in a solid six-under 66 to seize a one-stroke lead over India’s Nishtha Madan, who spiked her solid 35-32 card with an eagle, and Taiwanese Ssu-Chia Cheng, who shot six birdies against a bogey in the first 12 holes.

But while Ardina, whose campaign is also backed by the leading global port operator, stayed in the hunt for a spot in Sunday’s final, Fil-Am Clariss Guce and Pauline del Rosario all but headed to the exit with sky-high rounds.

Guce limped with three double bogeys and four bogeys against three birdies for a 79 while del Rosario shot herself in the foot coming off back-to-back missed cut stints, ending up with an 82 marred by a triple-bogey on the par-5 11th.

Settling for a 200-yard driving norm, Ardina missed just one fairway but went out of regulation six times although she made up for her iron play struggle with 29 putts.


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