In her return after winning the US Women’s Open, Yuka Saso figured in a tough start as the 2021 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship got underway at The Highlands Course in Atlanta, Georgia, Friday morning (Manila time).
Saso, who is in her first tournament as a full-time LPGA member, ended at 1-over 73 for a share of 39th place.
Saso opened the day fairly well until two bogeys in the sixth and ninth holes pushed her down to 1-over 37 at the turn.
A double-bogey at the very first hole upon resumption – in the No, 10 – brought the 19-year-old to 3-over, which she then negated with back-to-back birdies in Nos. 12 and 13.
A bogey and a birdie in Nos. 15 and 18, respectively, epitomized Saso’s day and ended it with an even 37 at the backside for the final score.
On the other hand, Bianca Pagdanganan has yet to find her form that gave her her first top 10 finish in the LPGA in the very same tournament last year.
The LPGA rookie started well with a birdie in the fifth for an early 1-under scorecard, but that turned out to be her only birdie of the day.
A bogey in the eight brought Pagdanganan ack to par after the front nine, before two more bogeys in Nos. 10 and 15 brought her to over par.
The 23-year-old missed no. 13 big time and needed two more hits to finish the hole off, and that’s what caused her day and ended her round at 4-over.
The other Filipino on the course, Dottie Ardina started her own tournament on a high note with a 2-under 70 for a share of 10th place.
The 27-year-old veteran carved two birdies in each of the sides of the course to put herself inside the top 10 after the day’s go-round.
Ardina will open her second round at 2:44 p.m. on Friday (2:44 a.m. on Saturday, Manila time) on tee 1.
On the other hand, Saso and Pagdanganan will both start theirs at the backside with Saso taking it at 1:55 p.m. (1:55 am on Saturday, Manila time), while Pagdanganan coming up minutes earlier at 1:44 p.m. (1:44 a.m. of Saturday, Manila time).