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Pagdanganan rallies to save 72; Saso cards 70

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Pagdanganan rallies to save 72; Saso cards 70
Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan

MANILA, Philippines – Bianca Pagdanganan checked an impending skid with two late frontside birdies as she salvaged an even-par 72 but fell eight strokes behind England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff at the start of the LPGA Mediheal Championship in Somis, California Thursday (Friday, Manila time).

Hard-pressed to come out with a strong showing following a missed cut stint at the LPGA Volunteers of America last week and fan her backdoor bid to crash into the Top 100 in the Race to CME Globe Points list, the power-hitting Filipina bogeyed No. 10 instead and scrambled to find her touch and rhythm the rest of the way.

She did birdie the par-3 13th but yielded strokes on Nos. 2 and 3 but sandwiched another mishap on the fifth with birdies before dominating the par-5 No. 8 to save a pair of 36s at the Saticoy Club course.

The ICTSI-backed ace grappled with her long game, missing six fairways, and missed the greens five times while hardly getting the good reads on the green for a 30-putt showing.

At tied 51st in a field of 118, Pagdanganan will need a lot of recovering to do to even make it to the weekend play of the $1.8 million event serving as the fourth-to-last tournament of this year’s LPGA Tour.

Yuka Saso, on the other hand, set her bid in motion with a 70 she highlighted with an eagle on the par-5 No. 14. The 2021 US Women’s Open champion also gunned down three birdies but fumbled with the same number of bogeys for a 35-35 and a share of 24th.

Shadoff, meanwhile, hit four straight birdies from No. 5 to fire an eagle-spiked 64 and seize a two-stroke lead over Chinese Ruixin Liu and Alison Lee of the US, who matched 66s.

BIANCA PAGDANGANAN

GOLF

YUKA SASO

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