Bianca Pagdanganan and Yuka Saso, for the previous a number of years the faces of girls skilled golf within the Philippines, went separate methods after the opening spherical of the Ladies Professional Golf Association’s (LPGA) Cognizant Founders Cup on Thursday in Clifton, New Jersey.
The long-hitting Pagdanganan held it collectively and recorded the most effective begin in her younger professional profession, a six-under-par 66 that had her trailing first spherical chief Madelene Sagstrom by simply three strokes whilst Saso, the reigning US Women’s Open champ, stumbled with a 73 and would wish to go low within the second spherical to make the minimize.
Pagdanganan had an eagle on No. 12 and even made it to seven-under earlier than dropping a shot on the par-4 sixteenth—the lone smudge on her scorecard within the first spherical.
The 24-year-old Pagdanganan, who was on the Philippine Team with Saso when the nation swept the gold medals within the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, gunned down 4 birdies on the entrance 9, utilizing her size off the tee and a solidly struck strategy on No. 9 to achieve the inexperienced in two.
“I didn’t think I could reach nine honestly. During the practice round my caddy and I had that down as a three-shot hole, especially with the water on the right, but I was in a good spot and I knew that I felt good heading into that hole,” she mentioned. “I had a lot of trust in my club and I knew that I could hit it where I wanted so I just went for it, kind of just missed it long, but I converted the birdie.”
It was a very good begin for Pagdanganan, to say the least, after she missed her final two cuts earlier than discovering her kind within the US Women’s Qualifying occasion final week.
“I would definitely say that the US Open qualifier was a bit of a kickstart. I wasn’t playing great leading up to that week,” Pagdanganan instructed the LPGA web site. “I was very, very stressed. I just felt like I had no control over my game. I’ve tried to take everything hole by hole and I think it’s been working out pretty well and I’ve figured out a new way to help myself out on the course.”
A 3rd Filipino, Dottie Ardina, additionally returned a 73 to be within the firm of Saso.
“It was one of those days. Like, everything was easy,” mentioned Sagstrom, 29, who has one LPGA Tour title and is within the hunt for her greatest end since she positioned second within the 2021 Women’s British Open. “It’s like I was hitting the fairways, hitting the greens, and I was making all the putts. The hole just kept growing.”
Japan’s Nasa Hataoka fired a 65, whereas Giulia Molinaro of Italy and Amy Yang of South Korea had been tied with Pagdanganan.
Lexi Thompson was a part of a seven-way tie at 67.
Megan Khang began her spherical on the again 9, selecting up 4 birdies there and 4 birdies on the entrance.
“You definitely knew the scores were out there,” Khang mentioned. “But at the same time, like, you can’t press for them. I mean, these greens are rolling so smoothly that you’re trying just not to put yourself in a position where you have to be a little defensive.”
Hataoka recorded an eagle on the par-5 second and added 5 birdies whereas staying bogey-free.
“I was 15 of 18 for the greens,” Hataoka mentioned, “in order that contributed to simply carrying that momentum into having extra birdies with me. —Reuters
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