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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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