Golf: Eagles, smarts put Pagdanganan in contention at Marathon Classic

Adrian Flores

Posted at Aug 08 2020 05:04 PM | Updated as of Aug 08 2020 10:57 PM

A pair of eagles to close her second round catapulted LPGA Tour rookie Bianca Pagdanganan into a tie for 8th place. Patrick Smith, Getty Images via AFP

Bianca Pagdanganan owned a piece of history on Friday (US time) when she shot back-to-back eagles to finish her second round of the Marathon Classic. 

It was only the 23rd time in the LPGA Tour history that a feat such as that occurred, which was last done by Robyn Choi during the second round of the 2020 ISPS Handa Vic Open in February.

More than the record, which she Pagdanganan realized only afterward, the important thing for her was the fact that her 4-under 67, courtesy of those eagles, catapulted her to a share of eighth place, seven shots adrift of former world No. 1 and new solo leader Lydia Ko of New Zealand.

Ko, 23, was a picture of consistency with her 6-under 65, built around nine birdies (six at the front), to go with her 64 on Friday, to take top spot with 129. 

Jodi Ewart Shadoff of Sweden sat at second with 130 after a 63 while American Danielle Kang (131) slipped to third.

But it was Pagdanganan, who created the biggest buzz. 

Although she was at eighth with 136 in the company of Lexi Thompson, Carlota Ciganda and Sophia Popov, the Filipina wowed the tournament with those consecutive eagles. Prior to that, she already sparked small whispers as she now is the tour’s driving distance leader. 

The first eagle happened on No. 17. A monster drive left her with 230 yards on the approach. She used a 4-Hybrid, made it in two to about 10 feet. 

Next was on No. 18. Another strong tee shot using a 3-wood left her with 178 yards. With a 7-iron on hand, she struck it with precision to 10 feet again.

Because both were par-5 holes, she went aggressive to close out the round.

“I only played aggressive on holes that I could. Just stick to my game plan. Hit fairways and be aggressive when I can,” Pagdanganan said, adding that she was satisfied playing smart as advised by caddie Mick Taley.

“When the holes were pretty close to the edge or just a couple paces, I played conservative.”

The Southeast Asian Games gold medalist could have made it to the top 5 if not for four bogeys, two on each side. 

“My bogeys were from missed fairways and wrong sides of the green. Yes, I hit the green on two on those par 5s,” she said.

Dottie Ardina is heading to the weekend rounds, too, after making the grade. She held on to the cut line with a 70 for 142.

Clariss Guce, the Fil-Am player out of California, bombed out of the $1.75-million tournament with 73-144.

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