Pagdanganan seeks Ladies Amateur repeat
Bianca Pagdanganan will contend with a crack international field in the Champion Infinity Philippine Ladies Amateur Open 2018 as she guns for a title repeat in the 56th staging of the country’s premier championship starting Jan. 10.
Pagdanganan put up a three-day display of brilliant shotmaking, iron play and putting to run away with a record nine-stroke romp over Thai ace Atthaya Thithikul on a stirring 16-under 200 total, a PLO mark, at Wack Wack’s West course last year.
But the mainstay of Gonzaga University in Washington faces a tougher set of rivals this time led by a young but talented Thai delegation and other aces from Taiwan, Singapore and Japan.
She would also take on a local crew spearheaded by the seasoned Yuka Saso and Harmie Constantino.
The Orchard’s Palmer Course will likewise provide a different kind of challenge for the competing field, which include 20 players in the Open division, another 20 in the Class A and 22 in Class B, according to the organizing Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines.
In dominating the field and scoring her breakthrough PLO win, Pagdanganan dropped just two bogeys against 19 birdies.
She took control by two after 18 holes, padded it to five in the second then led by as many as 11 in one stretch of the final day before posting the most lopsided win in recent years.
The annual event has seen a number of endgame thrillers, including Princess Superal’s one-stroke escape over Pauline Del Rosario and Saso at Midlands in 2016.
Among the challengers are Onkanok Soisuwan, Pimkwan Chookaew, Kultida Pramphun, Phannarai Meesom-Us and Pinkaew Trachuentong of Thailand; Shannon Tan, Callista Chen and Hailey Loy of Singapore; and Japanese Chieri Mabuchi and Tae Saito.
The local aces will be led by Saso and Constantino, Sam Bruce, Tomi Arejola, Nicole Abelar, Kristine Torralba, Sophia Legaspi, Felicia Medalla, Annika Cedo and Junia Gabasa, and Team The Country Club’s Mikha Fortuna, Sam Dizon, Laia Barro and Rafaella Singson.
Registration is still open with fee pegged at P8,500 for locals and $250 for foreigners.
EVENT BACKERS: San Miguel Corporation, Champion Infinity, Eva Air, Metro Pacific, Inquirer, Alveo Land, NGAP, Golfer’s Club Shares, Inc.
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