Saso, Pagdanganan, Pagunsan almost assured of Olympic berths, says Floro

Published June 11, 2021, 5:11 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Filipino golfers Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan, and Juvic Pagunsan are almost assured of booking their respective berths to the Tokyo Olympic, said National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP) secretary-general Bones Floro.

Yuka Saso, Bianca Pagdanganan, and Juvic Pagunsan (AFP / Handout / Juvic Pagunsan’s Facebook account)

Speaking over PSC (Philippine Sports Commission) Hour via Radyo Pilipinas 2 on Friday, June 11, Floro said it is safe to say that the three golf stars will secure their Olympic spots following impressive showings for the past few months.

Their qualifications, Floro said, were affected by the postponement of the Olympics to July, which also moved the calendar for qualifiers.

“For a few months now, we’ve known already na pasok na yan. Ang kailangan na lang nila gawin during that period, (For a few months now, we’ve known already that they have qualified. All they need to do during that period) which is starting a few months ago, was to keep playing,” said Floro. “Lalo ngayon na nanalo pa [si Saso]. We can safely say na pasok na pasok na.”

“In fact, nadagdagan pa tayo. So with the win of Juvic Pagunsan two weeks ago in Japan, na-seal din niya ‘yung ranking niya so we only have a couple of weeks to go before June 22 (qualification deadline). I can safely say na malabo na sila matanggal (In fact, we have additional on our list. So with the win of Juvic Pagunsan two weeks ago in Japan, he sealed his ranking so we only have a couple of weeks to go before June 22. I can safely say that it’s unlike for them to be removed from the list).”

However, the NGAP chief clarified that the organization cannot bare an official announcement yet without the go-signal from the International Golf Federation and the Tokyo Olympics organizers themselves.

Floro said, unlike other sports which have different qualifying events, Olympic golf aspirants’ are based on their Olympic World golf rankings.

With their recent performance, Floro is confident that the three will be able to get better ranks just in time before the Olympics as the top 60 players in the world – two per country – in men’s and women’s will qualify.

Saso bagged the historic US Women’s Open title in San Francisco, California over the week while Pagunsan ruled the Mizuno Open in Okayama, Japan in late May.

READ: Yuka Saso to work hard for Olympic gold. Yuka Saso’s wholesome reaction after earning LPGA Tour membership

Pagunsan also settled for a runner-up finish in the Asia Pacific Diamond Cup in Kagayama, Japan last May 16.

Pagdanganan, for her part, hopes to ride on the momentum that Saso made by competing in the LPGA Mediheal Championship in Dali City, California along with compatriot Dottie Ardina.

Per the Reallocation Reserve List of IGF as of June 7, 2011, Saso improved to No. 9, Pagdanganan placed No. 42, and Pagunsan ranked No. 51.

READ: ‘They have sacrificed a lot’: Yuka Saso dedicates victory to parents, supporters, How Yuka Saso trained to become a US Women’s Open champion