Golf: Powerful drives, conservative play lead to laudable LPGA debut for Pagdanganan


Posted at Aug 04 2020 07:34 AM

Filipina golfer Bianca Pagdanganan showed no signs of being an LPGA Tour newcomer in Toledo, Ohio, this past weekend. Handout

She may not have won this week, but rising Filipina golf superstar Bianca Pagdanganan has put the competition on notice now. 

With an average driving distance of close to 295 yards at the just concluded Drive On Championship in Toledo, Ohio, Pagdanganan established herself as the LPGA Tour’s latest long bomber, a feat made more significant by the fact she just stands 5-foot-5.

“I never really thought of (my driving). I just saw it on the stat sheet after the tournament,” the 22-year-old said.

That feat was the highlight in her impressive LPGA debut. 

Pagdanganan carded a 73 to finish with a 220 on Sunday (US time) and wound up in a share of 28th place in her first pro event. She also received a paycheck worth $6,862 (roughly P343,000).

American Danielle Kang won the inaugural event with a closing 70 for 209, beating Celine Boutier of France by a stroke (71-210).

Overall, Pagdanganan was solid at Inverness Club, which was punishing all week, especially the thick, rough areas around it. The placement of the pins at strategic spots on the putting surface made playing through it more challenging

“My game plan was to get my ball on to the green and try to hole putts. I was not much of an aggressor because I know a little mistake will be critical in a course like the Inverness,” Pagdangan explained.

That approach was approved by Mick Taley, a veteran caddie on the LPGA Tour.

“Mick liked my plan to hit the greens. He pretty much made sure we had the right numbers, just like in the second round,” Pagdanganan said.

Because they clicked, Taley will again carry the bag for Pagdanganan at the Marathon Classic next week in Sylvania, Ohio.

Meanwhile, US-based Filipina Clarriss Guce shot a 76 and was bunched at 64th with two others. She took home $2,249.

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