Dottie Ardina emerged as the best-placed Filipina bet after shooting a 2-under 69, as Bianca Pagdanganan played her worst round, limping to a 77 for an even 213 to slide down near the bottom of the standings at the 35th Marathon LPGA Classic on Saturday (US time).
Ardina moved up to a share of 49th with a 2-under 211, counting her earlier rounds of 72 and 70.
New Zealand’s Lydia Ko led for the third straight day, carding a 68 for a 54-hole 197 total in the $1.75-million event at Highland Meadows in Ohio.
Though Ardina is short by about 30-40 against the long hitters, including Pagdanganan, she continued to show consistency. She hit on 12 of 14 fairways, and is doing excellent work on the greens, putting only 26 times.
“She’s hitting better,” coach Jeff Manore said, compared to her stint at the Drive On Championship last week.
“We made an adjustment to get her tempo back. It’s working perfectly.”
Pagdanganan, in a flight with Spaniard Carlota Ciganda, received three warnings timed as one point due to slow play that resulted in hurried shots.
“I kinda lost my tempo because of that,” she said.
It was a complete reversal from a sizzling Day 2 performance. This time, she struggled with double bogeys on the 11th and 15th.
“On No. 11, I was in the rough with a flyer lie. I landed it before the pin but with how firm the greens were in the back nine, it didn’t stop and I ended up hitting it a bit long. I hit my chip and it rolled past the green, I had to chip again then two-putted to finish,” she said.
As the greens on the back nine got firm, which Pagdanganan said made play a little tougher, she dropped a shot again on the 15th.
“I blocked my drive right on the 15th and ended up by the trees in a sandy area. I pulled my second shot left into the trees again and was left short sided. I tried my best to get out but found the bunker instead. My putt to save bogey lipped out,” she said.
A birdie on the 16th restored some order. And when she needed good scores to close out, she could only make par on Nos. 17 and 18, where she holed in spectacular eagle putts on Friday.
“Yeah, it really did,” feeling relieved at that moment. I had two chances for birdies on the last two holes but I just couldn’t roll them in,” said Pagdanganan, who finished tied for 62nd with 5 others.
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