Bianca Pagdanganan recalled her fierce form, firing a tournament-best eight-spiked, bogey-free 64 to rally from joint 63rd to a share of 27th after six rounds of the LPGA Q-Series at Pinehurst No. 9 in North Carolina Thursday.
Pagdanganan, who failed to get going in the first half of the two-part elims with two 74s, a 72 and a 70 at Pinehurst No. 6 last week to lay at joint 63rd, broke a run of backside pars with four straight birdies then hit two more at the front before capping her sizzling pair of 32s with an eagle on the par-5 No. 8.
“I finally got my ball striking together, but putting wasn’t there with me and today (Thursday) was the day that putts actually dropped. I really think it was a long time coming and definitely had to stay patient out there. I’ve been kind of desperate for a good round because I’ve been hitting good shots but couldn’t convert any into birdies. I can breathe a lot better and sleep a little better tonight,” said Pagdanganan, who emerged the surprise low medalist in State I in Rancho Mirage, California last August and rallied with a 64 in the final round to finish tied for eighth in Stage II in Florida last month.
With a 426 aggregate, Pagdanganan remained too far behind frontrunner Muni He of China, who slowed down with a 70 for a 410, but the ace Filipina shotmaker safely made the Top 80 cut after six rounds. She also boosted her bid for a Top 45 finish in the last 36 holes of the grueling eight-round qualifier for coveted LPGA Tour cards next year.
Dottie Ardina, meanwhile, slowed down with a 72 after a 69 for joint 30th at 427 while Clariss Guce fumbled with a 75 to slip to joint 46th at 431.
Korean Hee Young Park closed to within four of He with 412 after a 66 and Yealimi Noh of the US shot a 69 for a 417.