A rough day in the office would not end as such for LPGA Tour rookie Bianca Pagdanganan.
After going steady in the first 16 holes, the 24-year-old Filipino standout registered two birdies for a 2-under 70 and a huge 14-under 274 to finish at the top three of the inaugural Drive On Championship in Reynolds Lake Oconee, Monday morning (Manila time) at Greensboro in Georgia, USA.
Pagdanganan banked US$83,557 for her efforts and zoomed to 56th spot at the Race to CME Globe, the Tour championship, standings.
The former US NCAA National champion created a buzz after finishing in solo second at the close of three rounds and having been a stroke off leader Ally McDonald with 12-under 204.
However, the final round was relatively quiet for the rookie.
The reigning Southeast Asian Games champion still went on firing bombs from the tee but struggled to reach her usual heaves of more than 300 yards.
Pagdanganan thus had difficulties getting a shot off even and settled for pars along the front nine, pushing her off as far back to a share of fourth spot.
Nonetheless, a birdie in the 17th hole rescued her from the scramble. Another birdie, her fourth straight in the final hole, then pushed her to a tie for the second spot.
Eventually, the multi-titled Danielle Kang took over with a birdie of her own to snatch solo second. Pagdanganan, however, is slowly proving her billing as the future of the game with a third-place finish at the tournament.
McDonald went on to win with an impressive 16-under 272 and bagged the US$195,000 winner’s prize.