BIANCA Pagdanganan carded a career-best bogey-free 65 to extend her lead to five strokes with one round to play in the Philippine Ladies Open at Wack Wack Golf and Country Club’s West Course in Mandaluyong.
The 19-year-old Pagdanganan hit four birdies on the front nine, highlighted by a 20-footer on the first, then finishing with three more on the back nine.
The Gonzaga University sophomore stood at 13-under 131.
“The pins were a bit tricky but it was my day and it couldn’t get any better than this,” said Pagdanganan, who also moved closer to ending a two-year title spell after topping the Edeon Ihlandfelt tournament in the US.
“It’s actually my personal best and I’m ecstatic for doing it.”
Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul added a 66 to her opening 70 to take second spot, confident she can overhaul the deficit in the final round.
“My coach told me to follow the plan, which is to think of my own game and not of others,” said Thitikul.
Pauline del Rosario, who started the round just two strokes off pace, birdied two of the first eight holes but stumbled with two bogeys in the next six and flubbed three makeable birdie putts. She settled for a 72 and slid to 140, nine shots behind.
Yuka Saso, the national women’s amateur champion, floundered in the early going and needed to produce a fiery windup to salvage a 72 and a 142.
“I struggled with my driving early,” said the 15-year-old Saso, who stumbled with two bogeys and a double-bogey against a bogey at the front before birdying n three of the last six holes.
Lois Go fired a 68 after a 75 to move to solo fifth at 143, while Bernice Ilas also fought back with a 70 for a 146.
Singapore’s Jacqueline Young shot 72 to tie Harmie Constantino, who faltered with a 76, at 147.
Zoe Campos of the US also carded a 72 for joint ninth with Malaysian Geraldine Wong, who turned in a second 74, at 148.
Thailand’s Tunrada Piddon made a second 75 for a 150, Malaysia’s Liyana Durisic shot a 73 for a 151, and Qistina Azhar, also of Malaysia, carded a 74 to tie Singaporean Aloysa Atienza and Annyka Cayabyab, who shot 78s, at 153 in the tournament presented by Champion Infinity, organized by the Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines and backed by Lexus, Metro Pacific, Britanny, Eva Air, San Miguel, Inquirer, Cherrylume, Alveo, Manila Golf, G&W Clubshares, Alabang Ladies Golf Chapter, Canlubang Golf Club, Forest Hills Golf Club, Sta. Elena Golf Club, Tagaytay Higlands, Gatorade, Ladies Philippine Golf Tour, Vermogen, Gilberto Duavit and Water World Trading Inc.