TARLAC, Philippines – Bianca Pagdanganan kept steely nerves under pressure on the stretch for a one-under-par 71 to wrest the ladies’ golf individual gold medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Luisita Gold Club here Friday (06 December 2019).
Overall, or after three days of competitions, Pagdaganan stacked up a total of 199, three strokes better than silver medal winner in Thai Kan Bunnabodee who limped home with a double bogey-bogey finish par 72 over the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed course.
With Pagdanganan’s sweet victory, the PH lady par busters are now very much inclined at completing a golden double when team play shifts to match Saturday.
But nevertheless, it was a two-medal haul for Thailand as Pimnipa Panthong, who was also in the thick of things chasing the lead all day, ended with a one-under 71 scorecard for bronze, a stroke adrift.
Indeed, it was a sweet victory for the huge partisan crowd and Pagdanganan, who settle for bronze in the Asian Games in Jakarta.
But she was instrumental in helping the country win its first-ever team gold over the same international event.
“It was a really tough day,” the 22-year-old Pagdanganan, who is expected to plunge into action full time in the LPGA in 2020, said. “I really didn’t hit shots as good as I did yesterday but I did come out good in the last few holes.”
Pagdanganan’s first-ever SEAG gold win wasn’t as easy as it looked.
She needed to keep nerves of steel in the closing holes even and with a little luck, her closest rival Bunnabodee self-destructed with a double-bogey 7 on the 17th and a bogey on the 18th.
Actually, the Thai momentarily took the lead when Pagdangan faltered with a bogey on the 68th hole that silenced the throng of a partisan crowd for a while.
But that was it as the Thai pushed her drive to the rough for those unfortunate bogeys on the 17th and 18th holes where she never managed to salvage par. (IAMIGO/CNS)