Pagdanganan earns P6.4M, matches career-best 3rd place effort in LPGA Walmart NW tilt

Jan Veran - Philstar.com
Pagdanganan earns P6.4M, matches career-best 3rd place effort in LPGA Walmart NW tilt
Bianca Pagdanganan of the Philippines plays a shot on the first hole during the Final round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G at Pinnacle Country Club on October 01, 2023 in Rogers, Arkansas.
Alex Slitz / Getty Images / AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Bianca Pagdanganan followed up a solid second round 65 with a scintillating two-eagle feat Sunday (Monday, Manila time), leading to a seven-under 64 that matched a career-best finish in the LPGA Tour in the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in Rogers, Arizona.

Korean Hae Ran Ryu slowed down with an eagle-aided 66 after a pair of bogey-free 64s at the Pinnacle Country Club as she nailed her first LPGA win in wire-to-wire fashion. She matched Pagdanganan’s backside 29 on her way to a 19-under 194 total in the 54-hole, $2.3 million event and pocketed the top purse of $345,000.

Hae beat Linnea Strom by three after the Swede ace likewise closed out with a 64 for a 197 worth P214,011.

Six strokes off the leader after 36 holes, Pagdanganan fell farther back with a miscue on the par-5 second hole. But the power-hitting ICTSI-backed ace birdied Nos. 5 and 7 and rode on the momentum of a pitch-in eagle on the par-4 No. 10 to fashion out a six-under backside card at the 36-35 layout.

She actually bogeyed the 12th but birdied No. 14 and holed out with a birdie-birdie-eagle feat to gain a share of third at 198 with Koreans Sei Young Kim and Jenny Shin, who carded 66 and 67, respectively. Each received $112,775 (P6.4 million).

Meanwhile, Dottie Ardina fired a 67 and tied for 10th at 201 worth $37,933 (P2.2 million).

Pagdanganan also expects to build on her scorching windup as she heads to her next LPGA event, the $1.8 million Ascendant LPGA Benefitting Volunteers of America on Oct. 5-8 at the Old American Golf Club in The Colony in Texas.

Pagdanganan hit all but two fairways, reached regulation 14 times and finished with 26 putts.

Her latest feat equaled her third place result in the 2020 LPGA Drive on Championship at Reynolds Lake Oconee.

The 2018 Asian Games individual bronze medalist topped the LPGA Q-School Stage I in 2019 then made an immediate impact in the world’s premier ladies circuit, finishing tied for ninth in her first major stint in the Women’s PGA Championship in 2020. She went on to make nine cuts in 10 events in her rookie season.

In 12 events in 2021, Pagdanganan made eight cuts and represented the Philippines in the Tokyo Olympics and placed 43rd.

But she struggled in the 2022 season, making just eight cuts in 18 events and losing her card. She also failed to make the grade in the Q-School and campaigned on the Epson Tour with conditional LPGA status.

Pagdanganan has posted one other Top 10 finish in an LPGA event, tying for ninth in the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational last July while missing the cut three times in nine tournaments.

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