Filipina pro golfer Bianca Pagdanganan nailed a joint 9th place finish in her major debut at the 2020 KPMG Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) championship in the US on Sunday, October 11 (Monday, October 12, Philippine time).
Pagdanganan's top 10 finish books her a ticket to her second major in the 2020 US Women's Open in Houston that will be held in December.
"It has been unbelievable. Obviously, I tried to aim high but I feel like I continue to exceed my own expectations every time I play," said the LPGA rookie.
The 22-year-old power player birdied the 72nd hole to cap off her incredible run in her first major despite her world No. 712 ranking before the event at the Aronimink Golf Club in Philadelphia.
She ended her campaign tied at even-par 280 with Americans Brittany Lincicome and Lauren Stephenson – who also booked her first US Women's Open slot – and Mexican Gaby Lopez.
"It definitely is a confidence booster knowing that I can play well in these kinds of conditions in a major event so I’m definitely looking forward to more events this year and for years to come," said Pagdanganan after the event ruled by Korean Sei Young Kim.
This is the 2019 Southeast Asian Games' double gold medalist's highest finish in the pro circuit since her joint 28th place finish in the Drive On Championship in Ohio last July.
Pagdanganan had put herself in contention for a major title right in her debut as she finished solo 5th on Day 3 with back-to-back bogey-free performances to score 65 in both the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
In the final round, the Filipina played alongside seven-time major winner Inbee Park, who she was a stroke away from by the 3rd round.
Park eventually raced to finish 2nd to compatriot Sei Young Kim, who won her first major title in this tournament.
"I can say I’m a little bit more comfortable. It is nice to get those nerves out of the way," said Pagdanganan.
Pagdanganan rose to fame when she clinched the 2018 Asian Games bronze medalist and bagged the gold along with Filipina teen golf sensation Yuka Saso and Lois Kaye Go in the women's team event. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.