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Sports

Bianca poised for strong finish in Meijer Classic

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
Bianca poised for strong finish in Meijer Classic
Bianca Pagdanganan
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Philippines ace Bianca Pagdanganan leaned on a strong back nine to card a three-under 69 on moving day and gain a crack at the Top 10 in the Meijer LPGA Classic in Belmont, Michigan Saturday.

From 25th spot, Pagdanganan climbed to 19th with her 54-hole tally of eight-under 208 – just three strokes behind her rivals who are occupying seventh to 10th going to the final round.

Overall, the power-hitting Pinay trails pacesetting Australian Grace Kim (199 after a 66) by nine. Kim is five-up on Fil-Am Allisen Corpuz (68) and four others who are at 204. Corpuz and Co. are ahead of Ryan O’Toole (67), Natthakritta Vongtaveelap (67), Alexa Pano (68) and Alison Lee (68), who tote identical 205s.

Pagdanganan is looking to improve, if not surpass, her season’s best finish of joint seventh in the Mizuho Americas Open last month to boost her confidence ahead of next week’s third major, the KPMG Women’s PGA in Washington, as well as the coming Paris Olympics.

The 26-year-old parbuster sits at 35th in the Women’s Olympic Ranking list with one week to go before the golfers in the Magic 60 officially get their tickets to the French capital. Dottie Ardina is also in the mix at 55th.

Pagdanganan’s resilience was in full display in the third round as she quickly picked herself up from a double bogey on the very first hole and regained the two shots with birdies on Nos. 5 and 8.

She stumbled with another bogey on No. 9 but rebounded with four birdies at the back en route to a 37-32 round highlighted by scores of 4 in all but one of the four par-5s of the Blythefield Country Club.

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BIANCA PAGDANGANAN

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