Pagdanganan, Ardina set to play in Portland

Bianca Pagdanangan (AFP)

Tokyo Olympics veteran Bianca Pagdanganan is set to compete in her 10th LPGA tournament as she begins her bid in the Cambia Portland Classic scheduled Sept. 16 to 19 at The Oregon Golf Club.

This is the first tournament for the 23-year-old Pagdanganan after she made her Olympic debut last month in Japan. Her last LPGA event was the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational where she finished tied for 12th back in July.

At the moment, the double gold medalist in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games is among the longest hitters in the LPGA Tour as she ranks second among golfers with an average drive distance of 285.021 yards.

Dutch Anna Van Dam leads the field with 291.938 yards.

Pagdanganan, who turned pro in 2020 after attending University of Arizona and Gonzaga University, is looking for her first title in the Tour after two top 10 finishes last year.

Pagdanganan, who claimed a gold medal with the Philippine women’s team alongside Yuka Saso and Lois Kaye Go during the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, will tee off at 8:28 a.m. Thursday in Portland (11 p.m. Manila time Friday) with Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh and Luna Sobron Galmes of Spain.

Aside from Pagdanganan, also seeing action in the $1.4 million event is Dottie Ardina. She is in the same flight with American Sydnee Michaels and Jing Yan of China set to tee off at 7:33 a.m.

The 27-year-old Ardina last competed in the ISPS Handa World Invitational where she placed tied for 32nd. Her best finish this season was a joint 12th during the PGA Women’s Championship last June 24.

Other players to watch in the Portland tournament are world No. 2 Jing Young Ko of South Korea, fellow major winners Brooke Henderson of Canada, Australia’s Hannah Green and Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand.