Bianca Pagdanganan accomplished what she set out to do in playing professionally on local soil for the first time, with a six-shot victory over two game Thais in the $100,000 Anvaya Cove Invitational announcing her readiness to pursue a bigger dream.
“This victory is a big confidence-boost, makes me really excited over how the rest of the year would go,” said Pagdanganan after closing out with a one-under-par 71 for a 54-hole 207 total over the well-manicured, wind-swept layout in Morong, Bataan.
Pagdanganan will be campaigning in the Epson Tour after this, where she takes the steps needed to get back to the grandest stage of her sport—the US Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) where she was a regular for two years before a series of injuries left her without a card this year.
“It’s very competitive out there [LPGA], so I guess, it helped me a lot this week. I felt I was more relaxed out there but not to the point of being complacent,” she said.
After draining two eagles and 10 total birdies in the first two rounds, Pagdanganan was in cruise control in the final round, shooting just three birdies that went with two bogeys.
PK Kongpraphan, the LPGA veteran of eight seasons, assembled a 70 and Pakit Kawinpakorn fired a 71 to tie for second, even as Chanelle Avaricio rallied with a 69 to claim a 16th place tie for 222 and be the next best local bet in the talented field.
Daniella Uy accounted for a second straight 73 to total 226.
“It was a tough course, especially with all the challenges. I just stayed steady throughout my whole round and focused on the smaller details of my game,” added Pagdanganan, who flies to the United States Saturday for the Natural Charity Classic that starts on March 3 in Florida.
“It took a lot of patience out there with all the best players of each country in the field, They’re all just great golfers.”
Taiwanese No. 1 Ya-Chun Chang submitted a 74 to finish level for the tournament, tied with countrywomen Ching Huang and Tsai-Ching Tseng, who shot 69 and 68, respectively.
Reigning Ladies Philippine Golf Tour Order of Merit winner Chihiro Ikeda shot a 76 for joint 36th at 231 while Sarah Ababa and Apple Fudolin pooled 234 and 235 after a 79 and 80, respectively.
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