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Yuka, Bianca brace for power duel in Palos Verdes golf tourney

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Yuka, Bianca brace for power duel in Palos Verdes golf tourney
Bianca Pagdanganan and Yuka Saso
AFP photos

MANILA, Philippines – The long hitters set off to dominate the inaugural Palos Verdes Championship beginning Thursday (Friday, Manila time), all eager and ready to launch their assault on the par-71 Palos Verdes Golf Club in Palos Verdes Estates, California.

The 6,258-yard course is short by the pros’ standards although it offers a level of difficulty to challenge the elite field’s accuracy, skills and boldness, the risk-and-reward setup tipped to spice up the chase for top honors in the $1.5 million championship.

Yuka Saso, No. 4 in the driving derby with a 275.200 yardage, hopes to flaunt her length and at the same time work on the momentum of her big rally in the DIO Implant LA Open in Los Angeles last week as she aims for a strong start in this week’s 72-hole championship.

The world No. 13 Saso closed out with a five-under 66 at the Wilshire Country Club course to save a tied for 17th finish in the LA Open with the reigning US Women’s Open champion raring to slug it out with Chinese Xiyu Lin and Wei-Ling Hsu of Taiwan in their 12:49 p.m. tee start on No. 10.

Fellow ICTSI-backed Bianca Pagdanganan, ranked No. 6 with a 274.923-yard driving norm, is also going all out to flaunt her vaunted power, upbeat of her chances with an early start at 7 a.m. with Americans Amy Olson and Allisen Corpuz, also at the backside of the ocean-view layout.

World No. 1 Jin Young Ko headlines the stellar cast with the Korean bracing for a spirited duel with American world No. 10 Danielle Kang and Thai world No. 14 Patty Tavatanakit at 8:17 a.m., also on No. 10.

Last week’s winner Nasa Hataoka, meanwhile, has opted to take a break this week. But the field is littered with talents, including world No. 3 Lydia Ko, No. 4 Minjee Lee, No. 5 Atthaya Thitikul, No. 7 Lexi Thompson and No. 9 Inbee Park.

BIANCA PAGDANGANAN

GOLF

YUKA SASO

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