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Bianca Pagdanganan rebounds with 70 in As-Pac


Bianca Pagdanganan climbed 10 spots from a joint 18th position with a two-under 70.

However, she remained considerably behind Thai Atthaya Thitikul, who threatened to dominate the field with a blistering seven-under 65 in the second round of the Asia Pacific Cup in Indonesia on Friday.

As Daniella Uy squandered a strong start with two birdies and faltered with a 73 after a gutsy 72 on Thursday, Pagdanganan mounted her charge with an early birdie binge on the backside of the Pondok Indah course in Jakarta. She then rebounded from a string of mishaps with two birdies in the last eight holes to card a pair of 35s.

With a 143 aggregate, the ICTSI-backed ace, who recently reclaimed her LPGA Tour card, joined Korean Youmin Hwang, who fought back with a 68, Japan’s Nasa Hataoka and India’s Diksha Dagar, who both matched 71s, and Aussie Robyn Choi, who carded a 72, at eighth place.

However, they remained considerably behind Thitikul, who showcased exceptional shotmaking and putting skills to put in a five-under frontside card. She closed out with three birdies against a bogey in the last seven holes for a 31-34, breaking away from a four-way tie for the lead and zeroing in on the top purse of $100,000 with an 11-under 133 haul.

From a tight start, the 20-year-old two-time LPGA Tour winner pulled ahead by five over Korean Dayeon Lee, who shot a 70 for 138, with Thai amateur Eila Galitsky firing a 69 to grab solo third at 139 heading to the final round of the 54-hole championship, staking a total purse of $550,000 in individual competition and $200,000 in team play.

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Thitikul also primed herself for a “double” as she and partner Jaravee Boonchant, who matched par 72, pooled a 10-under 278 for Thailand I to seize a commanding four-stroke lead in team competitions.

Korea 3 assembled a 282 while Korea 5 had a 283.

The Philippines’ two teams lay at joint 12th with Thailand 1 with 294 totals.

Pagdanganan marked her big start with birdies on Nos. 11 and 12 with back-to-back feats from No. 14 compensating for her miscue on the 13th. Despite a setback with three bogeys in the next four holes, she rebounded with birdies on Nos. 2 and 4, although missed opportunities in the closing holes limited her climb in the standings.

At joint 14th after 18 holes, Uy also initially broke into the Top 10 with birdies on Nos. 1 and 4, but she reeled back with a double-bogey on the seventh and a bogey on No. 9.

She birdied the 13th but made bogeys on Nos. 14 and 17 before holing out with another birdie for a 37-36 as the reigning Ladies Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit champion slipped five rungs down at 145.

Dottie Ardina, Uy’s partner in team play, birdied the first hole but fumbled with four bogeys in the last 12 holes and limped with a 75 for a share of 32nd at 149.

Princess Superal, who beat former US Women’s Open champion So Yeon Ryu and two others by three to rule the inaugural staging of this championship last year, floundered with a 77, dropping her to 42nd with a 151 total, effectively ending her title-retention bid.

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