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Sports

Pinay bets finish way off Kim

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Pinay bets finish way off Kim
In this June 27, 2021 file photo, Dottie Ardina of the Philippines plays her shot on the eighth hole during the final round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Georgia.
Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images / AFP

MANILA, Philippines —  Yuka Saso birdied two of the last four holes to save a 72 for joint 56th while Dottie Ardina tied for 64th with a 75 and Bianca Pagdanganan gained a share of 67th with a 69 in the LOTTE Championship won by Hyo Joo Kim in Oahu, Hawaii Saturday.

The Korean hit two early birdies to firm up her two-day three-shot lead then bucked two bogeys with a closing birdie to card a 71 and beat Hinako Shibuno by two on a 277 total. The Japanese fired a bogey-free 70 to snatch runner-up honors at 279 while Hye Jin Choi, also from Korea, fired a 69 to claim third place at 281.

Saso battled back from a two-over card after 11 holes with birdies on Nos. 15 and 18 but her 72-292 and a share of 56th was way below expectations given her strong sixth place finish in the event last year.

But the reigning US Women’s Open champion struggled all week with her long game and irons, closing out with another 8-of-14 stint off the mound. She missed the greens seven times although she had kept her putting going, finishing with 28 putts.

Ardina, meanwhile, floundered after a decent 71 in the third round as she fumbled with five bogeys against two birdies for a 38-37 and a four-day total of 293.

Pagdanganan, on the other hand, did charge back with a 69 on five birdies against two bogeys but her middle rounds 77 and 78 proved too big a drawback to overcome in the last 18 holes. The power-hitter missed six fairways but reached regulation 15 times although she finished with 30 putts.

The ICTSI-backed Saso and Pagdanganan hope to rebound big in this week’s DIO Implant LA Open at the Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles while Ardina vies in the Copper Rock Championship of the Epson Tour along with Fil-Am Clariss Guce.

BIANCA PAGDANGANAN

DOTTIE ARDINA

YUKA SASO

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