San Beda nears foot­ball crown

Manila Bulletin - - Sports -

Bianca Pag­dan­ganan put on a ca­reer-best bo­gey-free 65 in over­cast skies yes­ter­day and moved onto the thresh­old of a break­through Philip­pine Ladies Open vic­tory as she padded her lead to five over Thai At­thaya Thi­tikul in the sec­ond round at Wack Wack Golf and Coun­try Club’s West Course in Man­daluy­ong.

Pag­dan­ganan, 19, kept pound­ing the par72 lay­out with bril­liant shot­mak­ing, su­perb iron shots and solid putting as the Gon­zaga Univer­sity sopho­more bucked tough pin place­ments and pro­duced seven birdies for a 32-33 card that served as a fit­ting fol­low-up to her open­ing 66 that put her ahead of the event’s fan­cied play­ers, in­clud­ing Pauline del Rosario and Yuka Saso, Wed­nes­day.

But while del Rosario grap­pled with her irons and put­ter and Saso fal­tered in the early go­ing, Pag­dan­ganan romped with her near-im­pec­ca­ble game, rat­tling off four birdies at the front, high­lighted by a 20-footer on the first, then fin­ish­ing with three more at the back, in­clud­ing the last two in­side 15 feet.

That gave her an im­pres­sive 13-un­der 131 to­tal, mov­ing her 18 holes away from nail­ing the cov­eted crown in the Open divi­sion of the coun­try’s pre­mier cham­pi­onship pre­sented by Cham­pion In­fin­ity and or­ga­nized and con­ducted by the Women’s Golf As­so­ci­a­tion of the Philip­pines.

“The pins were a bit tricky but it was my day

San Beda banked on Mike Daniel Ri­conalla’s late goal to re­peat over ti­tle-holder Arel­lano Univer­sity, 1-0, and inch closer to re­claim­ing the se­niors ti­tle in the NCAA foot­ball tour­na­ment yes­ter­day at the Rizal Memo­rial Sta­dium.

A grad­u­at­ing Mar­ket­ing stu­dent, Ri­conalla headed home the match win­ner off a beau­ti­fully-placed corner kick of Adolfo Abada in the 81st minute for the team’s 8th straight vic­tory since the elims. 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.”

Thi­tikul also turned in an im­pos­ing 66 spiked by a su­perb clos­ing 30 but the 13-year-old Thai ju­nior cham­pion still stood far be­hind at 136 fol­low­ing a medi­ocre 70 in the opener and Pag­dan­ganan’s flaw­less sec­ond day per­for­mance.

But she re­mained up­beat of her chances, so do the rest of the field still in the hunt for the cov­eted crown.

“My coach told me to fol­low the plan, which is to think of my own game and not of oth­ers,” said Thi­tikul, who ac­tu­ally re­bounded from a two-bo­gey mishap af­ter six holes with a stun­ning run of eight birdies in an 11-hole stretch, in­clud­ing three straight from No. 15.

Del Rosario, who started the round just two strokes off Pag­dan­ganan, 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.

Saso, who fin­ished tied for sec­ond with Del Rosario in last year’s edi­tion of the an­nual event topped by Princess Su­peral at Mid­lands, also floun­dered in the early go­ing and needed to pro­duce a fiery windup to sal­vage a 72 and a 142.

It was the sec­ond win by the Red Lions in the semi­fi­nal round – a fol­low up to their 2-1 win over Lyceum last Tues­day – and also their sec­ond over the slump­ing Chiefs.

They beat the Chiefs, 6-0, at the close of the first round elims. The loss prac­ti­cally de­throned the Chiefs who dropped to 0-2 in the round.

The Red Lions could clinch a league-best 22nd cham­pi­onship if they could beat the St. Be­nilde Blaz­ers on Tues­day next week.

Bianca Pag­dan­ganan makes a putt on the 9th hole dur­ing the sec­ond round of the Philip­pine Ladies Ama­teur Open at the Wack Wack Golf and Coun­try Club in Man­daluy­ong City yes­ter­day. (Rio Delu­vio)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.