Bianca Pagdanganan is currently ranked No. 41 in the world, with the top 60 men and women guaranteed tickets to Tokyo. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ
Bianca Pagdanganan flew back to the United States on Sunday not only to resume her LPGA campaign but also to continue climbing up the world rankings and secure a slot in the Tokyo Olympics scheduled in July.“It’s a goal of mine,” Pagdanganan had said, as she labeled playing in the quadrennial Games as “the greatest opportunity.”
The 23-year-old Pagdanganan is currently at No. 41 in the world owing to a strong rookie showing on the LPGA.
Yuka Saso, the 19-year-old wonder playing in Japan, is ranked 21st and has virtually put a lock on the first slot for the Philippines with the top 60 men and women gaining slots.
The Games being postponed for a year seems to have come as a blessing for the two Filipino aces, who wouldn’t have had the chance to qualify if hostilities were held last July without the coronavirus pandemic.
“It has always been her goal—to play in the Olympics,” said three-time Junior World champion Carito Villaroman, the coach who has handled Pagdanganan since she was 11. “All the things that she has been working on is in preparation for her campaign in the upcoming Tokyo Games.”
Labeled by LPGA.com as the “future and a revolutionary figure of women’s pro golf” because of her length, Pagdanganan spent a great deal of time in the country to fine-tune her ball control and short game under Villaroman.
“I really want to play in the Olympics. That’s a big goal and I want to achieve it. I want to represent the country on a bigger stage. Oh my God, it would be a big accomplishment, such a big honor,” she said.
And she left feeling she has everything in place to make one final push to realize that dream, and maybe, just maybe, be the one to gift the Philippines with that first-ever Olympic gold medal. INQ
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