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Pagdanganan claims Ladies Open lead

Bianca Pagdanganan dished out a near-flawless six-under 66 on wet condition to claim a two-stroke lead over Pauline del Rosario at the start of the Philippine Ladies Open Golf Championship 2017 at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club’s West Course in Mandaluyong yesterday.
Cashing in on the lift-clean-place rule, Pagdanganan rattled off three birdies at the back from where she teed off, including a chip-in from 20 yards on No. 14 then turned fiercer at the front, gunning down four more birdies, including three-straight from No. 6.
She could’ve moved three-up on del Rosario if not for a bogey mishap on the last hole that ruined what could’ve been a career-best round for the 19-year-old sophomore from Gonzaga University in Washington, who struggled to finish tied for ninth in last week’s Philippine Amateur Golf Championship dominated by Yuka Saso at Riviera.
But the favorites didn’t stray too far the surprise leader in the rain-hit round of the country’s premier championship presented by Champion Infinity with del Rosario turning in a four-under 68, and Saso and Thai star Atthaya Thitikul submitting identical 70s.
Harmie Constantino, a former national champion and winner of a pro tournament last year, also put herself in the mix with a 71 while Malaysian Geradline Wong and local bet Kayla Nocum carded identical 74s and 12-year-old Annyka Cayabyab putting in a gutsy 75 to share eighth place with Singaporeans Jacqueline Young and Aloysa Atienza, Thai Tunrada Piddon and Cebu’s Lois Kaye Go.
With the weather expected to improve, Pagdanganan braces for the favorites’ charge in the last two rounds of the 54-hole championship organized and conducted by the Womens’ Golf Association of the Philippines.

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