With podium chances slipping, Yuka, Bianca hope for better round
TOKYO—The chances of competing for a podium finish seem bleak for the Philippines’ golf aces in the women’s competition of the Tokyo Olympics.
But both will still be gunning to improve their standings in the final round.
“I hope to play better tomorrow,” said a mildly resurgent Yuka Saso on Friday, after assembling a four-under 67 on Friday that put her at four-under for the tournament at Kasumigaseki Country Club.
Saso came up with her best performance in the tournament thus far even as American Nelly Korda continued to run away with the lead, 11 strokes up win the reigning US Women’s Open champion.
“My round today was better than the last few days,” Saso said. “My driving was more consistent. I hit more fairways. I also made a few birdie putts.”
Bianca Pagdanganan, meanwhile, has a solid start, going three-under for the day after ten holes to climb the leaderboard, but her charge was blunted by a pair of double bogeys that set her back anew.
“Today’s round was interesting I guess. I made a lot of birdies but I also made a couple of doubles [bogeys] in the back nine,” the long-hitting LPGA standout said. “The first double, I had a not so good break. I was in the rough that was on the edge of the bunker and it just kinda went downhill from that shot until I finished the hole. Same thing with my other double but I guess I was able to bounce back with another birdie on the 18th hole.”
The round, Pagdanganan said, “was really tough because I was hitting a lot of good shots. I was struggling with my putts but at least I gave myself opportunities.”
Pagdanganan has refocused her sights to a more modest goal after being unable to improve a two-under aggregate she had been nursing since the first round.
“Hopefully I get to bounce back tomorrow and move up the leaderboard just a little bit.”
Pagdanganan shot a second straight even 71 for the day.
While the gold may very well be out of reach, Saso is within six shots of 10-under, the total that currently sits at third place. If she continues her charge and gets a few breaks here and there, she just might put herself in contention for a medal.
That is depending on whether the fourth round will continue. Organizers have said a nearing storms might eventually cut the tournament to 54 holes, wiping out the final round scheduled on Saturday.