Late wobble costs Bianca Pagdanganan lead at Anvaya
Bianca Pagdanganan got undone with an uncharacteristic double bogey 5 on the 16th on Wednesday and the Filipino ace starting her journey back to golf’s grandest stage found herself trailing by a shot after the first round of the $100,000 Anvaya Cove International in Morong, Bataan.
Working on a five-under-par card heading into her last three holes, Pagdanganan missed the green long and needed four more strokes to hole out, eventually signing for a 69 as PK Kongkraphan of Thailand pounced on the opportunity to take a one-shot lead after a 68.
It was a disappointing ending to an otherwise explosive round for Pagdanganan, who eagled the 10th before rattling off consecutive birdies in dominating the featured threesome that also had Taiwanese No. 1 Ya-Chun Chang, who submitted a 70.
Chanelle Avaricio and Chihiro Ikeda, multiple leg winners in the Ladies Philippine Golf Tour last year, were the next best-placed Filipinos after 77s as the Mountain Nine (front) and Seaside Nine (back) tested the talented field with winds howling from all directions.
“It was super windy so I felt I needed to make quite few adjustments. My goal was to hit fairways, and felt like this course is really narrow and it’s important to keep your ball in play,” Pagdanganan, who is using this event to sharpen her game for the Epson Tour and later on get a crack back to the US LPGA, said.
“I think I was able to at least kind of get that goal down for the day, was pretty satisfied with how I hit it, and felt like I needed to capitalize more on my real opportunities” she added. “But there’s still a couple of rounds left and there’s still a lot more to look forward to.”
Kongkraphan, an eight-year veteran of the LPGA, admitted to playing a little subdued and had the good result to show for it.
“You don’t have to be too aggressive on this course,” said Kongpraphan, who had just one bogey.
Harmie Constantino and Daniella Uy, another pair of fancied Filipino bets, hobbled with 78s and would need to piece together truly low second round scores on Thursday to matter in the final round.
Meanwhile, Chang, a former teammate of Pagdanganan at University of Arizona, needed to buck a bum stomach in churning out that round of 70 that actually started with a bogey. INQUIRER SPORTS STAFF