Golf: Amid COVID-19, Bianca Pagdanganan doesn’t mind putting LPGA debut on hold


Posted at May 29 2020 09:02 AM

Bianca Pagdanganan doesn’t let her excitement over a career turning point get in the way of a proper outlook.

The bemedalled Filipina golfer secured a regular tour card in the United States LPGA, which meant she could’ve debuted in the top-tier competition this year.

But the worldwide spread of the dangerous novel coronavirus (COVID-19) forced virtually all sports events to a halt.

“COVID-19 is bigger than all of us. We really should put things into perspective,” said Pagdanganan, who is currently in the US.

“While we all have our own dreams and pursuits — I’m sure we’d all like to get out and do our own thing — right now, the most important thing really is to contain the spread of the virus.

“It’s not just about our own health. It’s about the health and welfare of the people around us.”

Like many athletes, the University of Arizona graduate said she continues to fitness-train online.

“It’s important to stay fit and be active so that when the season starts, I’ll be in tip-top shape,” Pagdanganan said.

Many countries have allowed golf activities to resume in varying degrees even without a vaccine available yet, because the sport is considered low risk for infection.

The first major of the 2020 golf season got underway on May 14 when South Korea hosted the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Association Championship.

The British Masters will resume on July 22, the first men’s major to relaunch this year.

Over the weekend, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson joined NFL greats Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in a charity golf match in Florida on May 24.

LPGA looking at July restart

In the Philippines, several golf clubs in general quarantine conditions have opened their gates.

Pagdanganan, who won gold in individual stroke play in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, said she is gradually hitting the fairways, too.

Still, she said she sticks to the rules in what could be the new normal in her sport.

“I only play when it’s extremely necessary; otherwise, I practice at home,” she said.

“And of course, when I do get to play outside, I still practice social distancing.”

With the LPGA hoping to get the 2020 season underway with the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational on July 15 to 18, Pagdanganan, a part of the gold-winning team in the 2019 SEA Games and 2018 Asian Games, said she wants to make sure she’s ready to make her debut.

“I’m a little more excited now since there’s a clearer schedule in terms of when the LPGA season can start,” she said.

“I have something to look forward to in the next few months. I just hope that things start to get better soon.”

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website