Olympics: Saso, Pagdanganan tee off in women's golf

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 04 2021 07:32 AM | Updated as of Aug 04 2021 09:45 AM

Bianca Pagdanganan and Yuka Saso of the Philippines in action during the first round of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics women's golf individual final at the Kasumigaseki Country Club, Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan on August 4, 2021.    Toby Melville and Murad Sezer, Reuters
Bianca Pagdanganan and Yuka Saso of the Philippines in action during the first round of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics women's golf individual final at the Kasumigaseki Country Club, Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan on August 4, 2021. Toby Melville and Murad Sezer, Reuters

Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan begin their quest for an Olympic medal on Wednesday at the Kasimugaseki Golf Club. 

Saso and Pagdanganan teamed up to win an Asian Games gold for the Philippines in 2018, and now they train their sights on a coveted Olympic medal which they'll dispute against some of the best players in the world. 

Pagdanganan tees off in the 7:52 a.m. flight with Ireland's Leona Maguire and Finland's Matilda Castren, while Saso will be in the company of Canada's Brooke Henderson and American Lexi Thompson, the same golfer she chased down on the way to the US Women's Open title.

The 20-year old Saso, however, goes into the first round with a new man on her bag after regular caddie Lionel Matichuk was rushed to a hospital after suffering from heat stroke in a practice round on Tuesday.

In his place, national coach Miggy Alejandro will carry the bag for the world No. 8 ranked Fil-Japanese, at least for the first round.

Saso and Pagdanganan said the searing summer heat will pose a problem for most of the golfers.

"It's very humid up here actually. It's definitely a factor and you have to make sure you stay hydrated," said Pagdanganan, who is the longest hitter on the LPGA Tour.

Saso said she'll enjoy playing with Thompson in the first two rounds.

"I'm going to be playing against top players but I've been playing against great players in my past couple of tournaments so I'm going to enjoy it," she said.

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