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Photo from Philippine Golf Tour

2020 Tokyo Olympics

Saso excited to play Thompson anew; Pagdanganan says heat will play factor


Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan begin their quest for an Olympic medal on Thursday at the Kasimugaseki Golf Club.

Saso and Pagdanganan teamed up to win an Asian Games gold for the Philippines in 2018 and now trains their sights on a coveted Olympic medal which they’ll dispute against some of the best players in the world.

Pagdanganan tees off in the 7:52 AM flight with Ireland’s Leona Maguire and Finland’s Matilda Castren. Meanwhile, Saso joins the company of Canada’s Brooke Henderson and American Lexi Thompson — the same golfer she chased down on the way to the US Women’s Open title.

The 20-year old Saso, however, goes into the first round with a new man on her bag. Regular caddie Lionel Matichuk was rushed to a hospital after suffering from heatstroke in a practice round on Tuesday.

In his place, national coach Miggy Alejandro will carry the bag for the world No. 8 ranked Fil-Japanese, at least for the first round.

Saso and Pagdanganan said the searing summer heat will pose a problem for most of the golfers.

“It’s very humid up here actually. It’s definitely a factor and you have to make sure you stay hydrated,” said Pagdanganan, who is the longest hitter on the LPGA Tour.

Saso said she’ll enjoy playing with Thompson in the first two rounds.

“I’m going to be playing against top players, but I’ve been playing against great players in my past couple of tournaments. So I’m going to enjoy it,” she said.

#ReadMore  Yuka Saso off to strong start in ANA Inspiration, trails leader by 3
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