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Pagdanganan closes long VOA Classic day strong to stay in red


Bianca Pagdanganan had to tackle a total of 30 holes for the day, eventually ending another tough day at 1-under overall as the play continued for the second and third rounds of the 2021 LPGA Volunteers of America Classic at Old American Golf Club in Texas, Sunday morning (Manila time).

The Tokyo Games-bound golfer rescued herself in the backside of the Round 3 to get from 3-over to 1-under heading into the final day of action, albeit in a share of 47th place.

Pagdanganan started the afternoon beaming with confidence after she had a steady performance when the action resumed for Round 2 just this morning, where she got three birdies.

The tour rookie, however, encountered mishaps at the front nine at the start of her third round as she needed an extra shot to finish both nos. 5 and 9 off. A double bogey in the 10th and another bogey in the 10th pushed her to as high as 3-over before she did something she is known to do.

Pagdanganan got one back with a birdie in the following hole, the no. 11, and registered three consecutive birdies after powering through the 15th to 17th holes. She then closed the day, the 30-hole day, with a par to stay in the red numbers.

Clariss Guce also had to bounce back from a shaky start in the third round to carve a 1-under 70 for the day and keep herself in a chance for a top 10 finish with 3-under overall.

The 31-year-old Filipino-American suffered a bogey in the 14th hole to see herself to 1-under in the day and 1-under overall.

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Nonetheless, Guce had other plans and came up with a huge eagle in the following 15th hole for her final score.

Dottie Ardina rounded off her day with a similar up-and-down performance, ending her arduous day at even par.

The recent top 12 finisher in the KPMG Championship, who only finished three holes the previous day, got back from her 1-2 mishaps with birdies in nos. 3 and 6 to get back to even par.

Ardina then needed to negate back-to-back bogeys in Nos. 8 and 9 with birdies in the 10th and 18th to finish from square one at even 213 overall.

South Korean Jin Young Ko snagged the lead from Finland’s Matilda Castren after a huge 5-under for the day put her at 14-under overall. The KPMG champion, however, is just one stroke adrift along with the day’s lowest scorer (at 7-under) Germany’s Esther Henseleit.

Pagdanganan, Guce, and Ardina, on their part, will look to close out their campaigns on a high note as the tournament closes with its final 18 holes on Sunday.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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