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Sports

Bianca in hot start

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Bianca Pagdanganan carried the torch for the Filipina bets as she opened the Cognizant Founders Cup with a hot six-under-par 66 for a share of fourth Thursday in Clifton, New Jersey.

Pagdanganan produced her career-best start at the Upper Montclair Country Club with her eagle-aided nines of 32-34 to finish the first round just three shots off Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom, who posted a bogey-free 63.

Fil-Japanese Yuka Saso and Dottie Ardina could not match Pagdanganan’s sizzling opener as they carded identical 73s.

Saso, who is set to defend her US Women’s Open crown next month, made four birdies but was slowed down by a double bogey and three bogeys.

Ardina mixed four birdies and five bogeys in a roller-coaster round marred by nine missed greens.

It was truly the day for Pagdanganan, who hit 10 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens and averaged 288 yards off the tee.

The 24-year-old Pagdanganan gunned down four birdies in the front side before using her prodigious length to set up an eagle on the par-5 No. 12. She birdied No. 15 afterwards to be at seven-under but dropped a shot on the next hole to settle for 66.

Pagdanganan shared fourth position with Italy’s Giulia Molinario and Korea’s Amy Yang behind the pacesetting Sagstrom, second-running Megan Khang of the US (64) and No. 3  Nasa Hataoka of Japan (65).

BIANCA PAGDANGANAN

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