Filipino golfer Bianca Pagdanganan fired a two-under 69 to finish the first round five shots off the leaders Thursday in the LPGA Marathon Classic at the Highlands Meadows Golf Club in Sylvannia, Ohio.
The 22-year-old Pagdanganan made four birdies as her efforts put her in contention against the best in the world led by former world No. 1 Lydia Ko and Danielle Kang, who shared the lead with 64s.
Fellow Filipinos Clariss Guce and Dottie Ardina, meantime, finished with 71 and 72 respectively.
Pagdanganan, who ended up tied for 28th in the LPGA Drive On Championship, made birdies on 5, 9, 11 and the long par 5 17, but she bogeyed on 7 and 15.
A gold medalist with the Philippine women’s team in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia and reigning champion in the women’s individual in the Southeast Asian Games here, Pagdanganan is tied for 28th with 13 other players.
On the other hand, Guce, who is based in California, is just at the cut-off mark with a matching par following three birdies and three bogeys, while Ardina needs to perform better in the second round than her opening 72 to advance in the last two rounds.
Kang of the US kept her steady form following a win in last week’s Drive On Championship as she buried seven birdies in a bogey-free first round, while Ko of New Zealand, who won the Marathon Classic in 2014 and 2016, had eight birdies but bogeyed on 8.