Bianca Pagdanganan off to solid start, Yuka Saso struggles in Olympic golf opener

Bianca Pagdanganan off to solid start, Yuka Saso struggles in Olympic golf opener

Bianca Pagdanganan is in an early contention for an Olympic medal. Brian Spurlock/USA Today (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Bianca Pagdanganan began her campaign in the Tokyo Olympics women's golf event on a good note after putting herself in a good position for a medal finish after her first round stint on Wednesday at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in the Japanese capital.

Pagdanganan, among those who played early into Round 1, finished two-under-par 69, good for a share of sixth place as of posting.

Pagdanganan opened her medal bid with two straight birdies in Holes 1 and 2, both of Par 4.

Her first setback came when she bogeyed the Par 3 Hole 4, but she bounced back by making a birdie in the Par 5 Hole 5.

She lost one stroke anew after bogeying the Par 4 Hole 11, but two birdies within a three-hole stretch put her back in a strong position for the podium with three days of competition left.

Meanwhile, Yuka Saso could not get her game going and finished at the bottom half of the 60-woman field.

Saso, the reigning US Women's Open champion, finished three-over-par 74, currently in a tie for 47th place as of posting.

Saso started off sluggish, not getting a birdie in her first four holes, even bogeying Hole 2.

She finally got a birdie in Hole 5, but that was quickly canceled by a bogey in the Par 4 Hole 6.

Saso even had a stretch of two straight bogeys in Holes 16 and 17 before ending her round with a par in Hole 18.

Swedish golfer Madelene Sagstrom played a near flawless performance and is at the top spot as of posting with a five-under-par 66.

Sagstrom never had a bogey during the entire first round.

American Nelly Korda and Indian Aditi Ashok are tied for second with a four-under-par 67.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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