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Dutchman’s strong start

I just hit it good and made the putts.

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GUIDO Van der Valk makes his presence felt at the start of ICTSI Pueblo de Oro Championship.

CAGAYAN DE ORO — Dutch Guido Van der Valk put up a strong start and a stronger finish as he scorched the Pueblo de Oro course with a stirring seven-under 65 to wrest a one-stroke lead over Jay Bayron and Reymon Jaraula Wednesday at the start of the ICTSI Pueblo de Oro Championship here.

Zanieboy Gialon fired a bogey-free 67, Ira Alido and Filipino-German Keanu Jahns shot identical 68s, Magno Arancon Jr., Jun Bernis and Aussie Fidel Concepcion turned in similar 69s and Ferdie Aunzo, Jerson Balasabas, Tony Lascuña and Michael Bibat turned in 70s as the men of the tour went on a rebound after a punishing campaign at Wack-Wack East in the Aboitiz Invitational last week.

Van der Valk sizzled with four birdies at the front then bucked a three-putt miscue on the 10th with four straight birdies to spike his 33-32 card that came a stroke off Frankie Miñoza’s record 64 when he ruled this ICTSI-sponsored event in 2013.

“Very good,” was how Van der Valk described his round at the windy, up-and-down par-72 layout with winding fairways and deep ravines that saw him hit all but two greens in a fine display of iron play he complemented with superb putting, highlighted by a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 9.

Although he yielded the stroke on the next with a flubbed par-putt from six feet, the ace shotmaker from Lelystad, the Netherlands more than made up for the slip by birdying the last four, including a tap-in on No. 15, a five-footer on the next and a pair of seven-footers.

“I just hit it good and made the putts,” he said.

Bayron turned in a more fiery finish, three birdies and an eagle in the last four. Eager to make up for his missed cut stint at Aboitiz, the Davaoeño ace actually finished with a rare two pitch-in eagle feats, including on No. 7, and gunned down three birdies against four bogeys.

“I think I was just lucky to hit those eagles in practically the same fashion,” said Bayron, who hit a couple of solid 3-wood second shots then knocked down those eagles from 20 yards on both par-5 holes.

He birdied Nos. 15 and 16 from 10 feet then took some hint at Jaraula’s muffed putt from afar to drill in a 30-footer on the last hole.

Also out to atone for his foldup in the last 36 holes at Wack-Wack, Jaraula came through with a bogey-free 66 that lined up the rising Del Monte star again for another crack at the crown after blowing his bid at Aboitiz, which he led after the first two rounds.

Gialon fell one birdie short to matching Jaraula’s flawless card but his 34-33 round likewise put him in the early mix of contenders in the P2.5-million event.

Johvanie Abaño, Korean Sangrog, Paul Echavez, Japanese Kanata Nakagawa, Spain’s Salvador Paya Vila and Elmer Saban all carded 71s while 10 others matched par, including reigning Philippine Open champion Clyde Mondilla, PGT Asia leg winners Jhonnel Ababa and Joenard Rates, Rufino Bayron, Rico Depilo, Noel Langamin, Koreans Park Jun Sung and amateur Seo Dong Bin and American Lexus Keoninh.

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3 Baguio golf courses announce temporary closure

Aldwin Quitasol

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(Photo courtesy of Club John Hay Golf Club Facebook page)

BAGUIO CITY — Golfers will need to wait a little longer before teeing off in Baguio City.

Three golf courses have announced temporary closure after some of their personnel and a guest tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Pinewoods Golf and Country Club closed its courses after one of its guests who played over the weekend tested positive.

Baguio Country Club (BCC), meanwhile, advised its members of the course’s indefinite closure.

The BCC management announced that one of the club’s caddies made close contact to a person who recently tested positive for COVID-19 in their barangay.

“We assure everyone that contact tracing and proper health and safety protocols including disinfection and sanitation are already being implemented, as it is always our priority to protect our valued members, guests and employees,” the BCC announcement stated.

Camp John Hay shared that two of its caddies tested positive for COVID-19.

“Camp John Hay Golf Club will be closed until further notice to conduct contact tracing, continued disinfecting, and other appropriate activities,” Camp John Hay announced to its members through Viber.

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DeChambeau muscles to victory

Agence France-Presse

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Bryson DeChambeau celebrates with the championship trophy after winning the 120th US Open Championship at Winged Foot Golf Club . JAMIE SQUIRE/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK (AFP) — Bryson DeChambeau captured his first major golf title, firing a three-under par 67 to win the 120th US Open and humble a relentless Winged Foot layout.

The 27-year-old American, known for his scientific approach to golf and a bulked-up driving dominance, eagled the par-5 ninth from just inside 40 feet and rolled to a six-stroke victory over 21-year-old countryman Matthew Wolff.

DeChambeau hit only 23 fairways for the week but finished 72 holes on six-under par 274 thanks to Sunday’s only sub-par round at the formidable Mamaroneck, New York, layout.

DeChambeau became the first player since 1955 to win with the only sub-par score in the final round, and just the fourth ever to do it, completing a dominating performance.

Typical deep US Open rough could not stop DeChambeau, whose exercise and protein shakes delivered powerful drives while his calculations and precise readings produced solid shotmaking on a layout that crushed rivals.

South African Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open winner, was a distant third on 282, one stroke ahead of American Harris English after both fired 73 Sunday.

American Xander Schauffele, still seeking his first major title, shot 74 and settled for fifth on 284, his fourth top 6 finish in four US Open starts.

Wolff led last-duo partner DeChambeau by two strokes when the day began but failed to become the youngest US Open winner since Bobby Jones in 1923 and youngest major winner since Tiger Woods at the 1997 Masters.

Wolff, coming off a share of fourth last month in his major debut at the PGA Championship, could not duplicate the feat of 20-year-old amateur Francis Ouimet in 2013 by winning in his US Open debut.

DeChambeau, who spent a three-month coronavirus pandemic layoff building his physique, uses same-length clubs and a chart book for judging putts, bringing some slow-play complaints but also six prior PGA Tour victories.

Ninth-ranked DeChambeau won in July at Detroit and shared fourth at last month’s PGA, his best major finish until Sunday.

The coronavirus pandemic postponed the US Open from June and led to a spectator ban, although some fans cheered from beyond boundary fences.

Spending more than an hour on the practice tee Saturday night after all other players had departed, DeChambeau put in work on his drives that paid off Sunday.

DeChambeau and Wolff exchanged impressive eagle putts at the 556-yard par-5 ninth, the easiest hole on a course that averaged 75 Sunday.

DeChambeau drove into the fairway, pitched just inside 40 feet and curled in his eagle putt to reach 5-under. Moments later, Wolff knocked in a 10-footer to stay one shot back.

Wolff stumbled with a bogey at the par-3 10th, missing a par putt from just inside 10 feet, two adrift and the only challenger within five shots.

When DeChambeau rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt at the par-4 11th to stand 6-under and three ahead — also 3-under on the day’s only sub-par round — the scientist appeared to have finally found a major-winning formula.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson shot 70 to share sixth with US compatriot Will Zalatoris on 285, never managing a sub-par round.

“Tough golf course,” Johnson said. “I gave myself enough chances, but I just didn’t putt well enough.”

Third-ranked American Justin Thomas finished on 286 to share eighth in a pack with fourth-ranked Rory McIlroy, a four-time major winner who closed with a 75.

“It was really difficult. Wind was up again,” McIlroy said.

“Looks like everyone found it pretty tough out there. Just a tough day.”

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Life-changing triumph for Higgo

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Garrick Higgo secured a life-changing first European Tour victory at the Open de Portugal at Royal Óbidos, thanks to a stunning bogey-free seven under par final round of 65.

The left-handed South African, whose final bogey of the week occurred on the tenth hole of his second round, finished on 19 under par, one stroke clear of Spain’s Pep Angles who finished second on 18 under par.

Higgo’s countryman George Coetzee continued his excellent form and followed his Portugal Masters victory with a tied for third place at Royal Óbidos on 15 under par, alongside England’s Andrew Wilson, with Sweden’s Jens Dantorp and Spain’s Carlos Pigem finishing tied fifth on 14 under.

The 21-year-old dropped just three shots during the tournament — a double bogey on his sixth hole of the week and that bogey on the tenth during his second round — and had played only a handful of third round holes when Saturday’s play was suspended due to darkness.

He returned to the course on Sunday morning and carded a six under par round of 66 to end round three just one shot off the lead, which was held by Portugal’s Vitor Lopes.

Lopes could not continue his low-scoring performance of the first three rounds and dropped off the pace during round four, but Higgo picked up where he left off.

Five front nine birdies, including a chip-in on the sixth hole, saw him make the turn in 31 before further gains on the 11th and the 18th saw him finish on 19 under par.

It was a nervous wait for the Stellenbosch native with Angles playing in the group behind, but when the Spaniard was unable to convert the 35-foot eagle putt he needed for a play-off, victory was secured.

Higgo, who’s victory comes in just his seventh Tour start, admitted that the feeling had not yet sunk in following his win.

“It feels awesome,” he said.

“I thought it was going to be a little bit easier over the last three holes but he (Pep Angles) made it a bit tough. That birdie on the last was really, really nice.

europeantour.com

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Will Bryson win change golf? Rivals divided

Agence France-Presse

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NEW YORK (AFP) — Whether Bryson DeChambeau’s US Open victory will revolutionize golf or just give a few people a new edge, it had other players talking after Sunday’s final round at Winged Foot.

Ignoring fears of deep rough in favor of pure distance, DeChambeau fired a three-under par 67 to win his first major title by six strokes, jumping from ninth to fifth in world rankings.

“Revolutionize? Maybe he’s just exposing our game,” American Xander Schauffele said. “If he keeps hitting it further and further, I don’t see why he wouldn’t be able to win many more US Opens.”

DeChambeau’s scientific approach, now including a bulked-up body bolstered by protein shakes and exercise over a three-month coronavirus layoff, has proven a winning formula: drive long, wedge from the rough, sink your putts.

“I don’t really know what to say because that’s just the complete opposite of what you think a US Open champion does,” said four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, who shared eighth after a closing 75 left him 12 adrift.

“He has found a way to do it. Whether that’s good or bad for the game, I don’t know, but it’s just not the way I saw this tournament being played.

“It’s kind of hard to really wrap my head around it.”

DeChambeau hit only 23 fairways for the week but also became the first player since 1955 to win with the only sub-par score in the last round. He humbled a course that crushed foes.

“He’s sort of trending in the new direction of golf,” Schauffele said. “Everyone talked about hitting fairways. It’s not about hitting fairways. It’s about hitting on the correct side of the hole and hitting it far so you can kind of hit a wedge instead of a 6-iron out of the rough.

“The only way to make a golf course really hard is to firm up the greens and grow the rough. You would rather be the guy in the rough with a lob wedge than with an 8-iron.”

Then there are those who settle for the old-fashioned fairways, like two-time major winner Zach Johnson.

“If he’s not hitting fairways, the short game has been very good and this place is not easy around the greens,” Johnson said.

“Is it the proper way? I don’t know, but it’s a way to play. And it’s not wrong at all. It’s just very different but also very effective.”

With new club and ball technology to stress distance and big muscles to propel them, DeChambeau has “taken advantage of where the game is at the minute,” Mcilroy said.

“Whether that’s good or bad, it’s just the way it is.”

American Harris English, fourth on 283, notes the short-game skill required to maximize the advantage in the strategy.

“It’s incredible what he can do out of the rough,” English said.

“It’s a game that we’ve really never seen before.

“John Daly changed it a little bit during his time, Tiger (Woods) changed it and Bryson is changing it again. It’s really impressive what he’s doing.”

McIlroy, hoping to complete a career Grand Slam at the Masters in November, said DeChambeau’s strategy could pay off at Augusta National.

“I don’t shudder, but if he can do it around here, and I’m thinking of Augusta and thinking of the way you sort of play there, yeah,” McIlroy said.

“The game has moved on a lot in the last 14 years since the US Open has been played here, and you’re seeing what the game has become, what he’s doing out there.”

McIlroy had been skeptical before, thinking what might work at a PGA Tour event wouldn’t pay off at a major, especially a US Open, due to the punitive rough.

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Ardina shoots 1-under; Hall tops Portland

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Hannah Green sprays champagne over Georgia Hall after winning the the Cambia Portland Classic on the second playoff hole at Columbia Edgewater Country Club. STEVE DYKES/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Dottie Ardina closed with a one-under par 71 despite a final-hole bogey in the Cambia Portland Classic at the Columbia Edgewater in Portland, Oregon.

Rookie Bianca Pagdanganan, playing with Ardina in the same flight for the first time, dropped three shots in the last two holes for two-over par 74.

Ardina finished the 54-hole event on three-under 213 for joint 42nd while Pagdanganan ended up tied for 64th on even-par 216.

England’s Georgia Hall won the tournament with a par at the second playoff hole, denying South African Ashleigh Buhai a first US LPGA title.

Teeing off in the backnine, Ardina, 26, had three birdies in the first five holes but made consecutive bogeys on 15, 16 and 17 to make the turn at even par.

She birdied 4 and 6 before dropping a shot on the 54th hole to finish the tournament on three-under 213, good for a tie for 42nd.

The 22-year-old Pagdanganan made the turn at one-under par following a lone birdie on 15 and was still one-under through 16 after a birdie on 7. But she bogeyed 8 and gave up two shots on 9.

Buhai caught up with Hall on tournament-best 12-under after firing a 65. Hall wound up with 68.

At the second playoff hole, the par-four first that was the second-toughest on the course on the day, both players found the fairway.

Both saw their approach shots land in the rough behind the green and had to pitch on. Hall made her five-foot par putt to pile the pressure on Buhai, who missed her short-range effort.

England’s Hall, who added a second victory to the British Women’s Open title she claimed in 2018, had a one-stroke lead going into the 72nd hole, but bogeyed the last to fall into the playoff.

Buhai, a three-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, had stormed home, making four of her eight birdies in the last five holes in a seven-under-par 65.

That included a birdie at the 72nd hole to cap a seven-under par 65 that saw her in the clubhouse on 12-under 204.

Hall was 13-under heading to 18, thanks to two three-birdie bursts at the fifth, sixth and seventh and the 10th, 11th and 12th.

But she dropped a shot at the 72nd hole and the pair returned to the 18th tee to start the playoff.

Hall found the fairway at the first playoff hole, wthere Buhai was in the rough and put her shot out on the fringe.

Hall two-putted from about 12 feet and Buhai matched her par.

It was an emotional win for Hall, who said she didn’t realize where she stood at the final hole of regulation because the scoreboards that normally dot the course haven’t been put up with no fans in attendance because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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DeChambeau wins US Open to capture first major victory

Agence France-Presse

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Bryson DeChambeau of the United States kisses the championship trophy in celebration after winning the 120th U.S. Open Championship. (AFP)

Bryson DeChambeau captured his first major golf title on Sunday, firing a three-under-par 67 to win the 120th US Open and humble a relentless Winged Foot layout.

The 27-year-old American, who bulked up during the coronavirus lockdown in a bid to add power to his game, eagled the par-5 ninth from just inside 40 feet and rolled to a six-stroke victory over 21-year-old countryman Matthew Wolff.

“Oh my gosh. I can’t believe it,” said DeChambeau, renowned for his scientific approach to the sport. “It has been a lot of hard work.”

DeChambeau hit only 23 fairways for the week but finished 72 holes on six-under par 274 thanks to Sunday’s only sub-par round at the formidable Mamaroneck, New York, layout.

DeChambeau became the first player since 1955 to win with the only sub-par score in the final round, and just the fourth ever to do it, completing a dominating performance.

Typical deep US Open rough could not stop DeChambeau, whose exercise and protein shakes delivered powerful drives while his calculations and precise readings produced solid shotmaking on a layout that crushed rivals.

“I just kept thinking throughout the back nine, ‘We have to keep focused. I have to execute every shot the best I can.’ And that’s what I did,” he said.

DeChambeau’s 325 yards off the tee was a driving distance record by a US Open champion, defying convention by attacking without fear, taking swing speed length to outweigh drawbacks of finding the rough.

“I worked my whole life for this,” DeChambeau said. “I wasn’t that afraid of going off line. I gained the confidence I needed for the week.”

The scientist found a major-winning formula. On Saturday night, he was the last player to leave Winged Foot, working into the dark with his driver.

“Sure enough it paid off,” he said. “I’m in shock right now. It’s amazing.”

South African Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open winner, was a distant third on 282, one stroke ahead of American Harris English after both fired 73 Sunday.

Wolff led last-duo partner DeChambeau by two strokes when the day began but, in his US Open debut, failed to become the youngest US Open winner since Bobby Jones in 1923 and youngest major winner since Tiger Woods at the 1997 Masters.

DeChambeau, who spent a three-month coronavirus pandemic layoff building his physique, uses same-length clubs and a chart book for judging putts, bringing some slow-play complaints but also six prior PGA Tour victories.

Ninth-ranked DeChambeau won in July at Detroit and shared fourth at last month’s PGA, his best major finish until Sunday.

The coronavirus pandemic postponed the US Open from June and led to a spectator ban, although some fans cheered from beyond boundary fences.

Wolff led DeChambeau by two strokes at the start but made bogey at the par-3 third. DeChambeau joined him on 4-under with a birdie at the fourth, blasting from rough to 13 feet and sinking the putt.

Wolff missed a downhill 10-foot par putt at the fifth while DeChambeau hit a seven-footer for par and took the lead alone for good, even after they both made bogeys at the eighth.

DeChambeau curled in an epic 40-foot eagle putt at the 556-yard par-5 ninth, but Wolff knocked in a 10-footer to match him and stay one back.

Wolff began the back nine with a bogey, missing a 10-foot par putt, and DeChambeau rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt at the 11th to seize a three-stroke lead. Wolff took a bogey at 14 and a double bogey at 16 while DeChambeau closed with seven pars, the last on 18 from seven feet to seal victory.

“Going through my body was just chills,” DeChambeau said.

Xander Schauffele shot 74 and settled for fifth on 284, one stroke ahead of two fellow Americans, top-ranked Dustin Johnson and Will Zalatoris.

Third-ranked American Justin Thomas finished on 286 to share eighth in a pack with fourth-ranked Rory McIlroy, who closed with a 75.

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Saso finishes joint eighth

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Yuka Saso ends up in the top ten. DAILY TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO

Yuka Saso rallied with a five-under par 67 on Sunday to finish in a tie for eighth place in the 51st Descente Ladies Tokai Classic in Aichi, Japan.

The 19-year-old Filipino-Japanese rookie, who won the long-driving contest Saturday, made six birdies against a lone bogey to finish the tournament on five-under 208, tying Mone Ami (70), Sumika Nakasone (70) and Ai Suzuki (71).

Saso opened with a birdie and added two more on 4 and 5 before stumbling with her lone bogey on 6. Then she birdied 9, 13 and 15 before cruising with pars the rest of the way.

She earned 1,876,000 yen (P869,869) for her fourth Top 10 finish in the tour.

Ayake Furue defeated Hiroko Azuma via playoff to win the tournament.

Both players finished the tournament on 15-under 201 after shooting identical 68s in the final round.

Pei-Ying Tsai settled for third place on 11-under after a 69 while three players — Shoko Sasaki (67), Naruha Miyata (68) and Miki Sakai (69) — tied for fifth on 10-under.

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Wolff devours Winged Foot

Agence France-Presse

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Matthew Wolff makes a lot of heads turns. GREGORY SHAMUS/GETTY IMAGES/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK (AFP) — Matthew Wolff, a 21-year-old American making only his second major start, fired a five-under par 65 to seize the clubhouse lead in Saturday’s third round of the US Open.

The 2019 US college champion for Oklahoma State, who shared fourth at last month’s PGA Championship in his major debut, solved wicked Winged Foot to stand on five-under 205 after 54 holes.

“Every time I was in the rough and had a good lie I took advantage of it,” Wolff said. “I minimized the mistakes. It was a good day all around.”

South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, fired a 68 to stand second in the clubhouse on 209 with American Bryson DeChambeau the only under-par rival still on the course at two under.

“Any under-par round at a US Open you’ll take,” Oosthuizen said. “(Wind) definitely died down for us. Definitely lucky on the draw today.”

World number 36 Wolff, who won his first PGA Tour title at Minneapolis in only his third tour start, needed only 10 putts over his first nine holes, shooting a astonishing 30 on the front nine as veteran rivals struggled on the famed Mamaroneck, New York, layout.

He found only two of 14 fairways but made impressive iron shots to match Winged Foot’s lowest US Open round ever, Justin Thomas’s opening 65.

“I tried to shoot as low as possible with hitting as few fairways as possible,” Wolff joked. “That will get me ready for tomorrow.

“I got really fortunate with the lies in the rough. I just stuck with my game. We had a bunch of good lies. It was a grind out there.

“I’m just going to go out there, do the same thing and whatever happens happens.”

Wolff, who began the day four back of leader Patrick Reed, made a 14-foot birdie putt at the opening hole, a 15-footer to birdie the par-4 fourth, a five-footer for birdie at six and a 13-foot birdie putt at the par-3 seventh.

He closed the front nine with a three-foot birdie putt at the par-5 ninth then grinded out six pars in a row before his first bogey at the 16th, missing an eight-footer for par.

Wolff blasted out of the rough 10 feet from the cup at 18 and sank his closing birdie putt.

“I feel really good with my putting,” Wolff said. “I just told myself it was just another putt.”

Oosthuizen sank an eight-foot birdie putt at the fifth and added eight pars on the front nine. On the back side, he followed a bogey at the par-3 10th by sinking an 18-foot birdie putt at 11.

At 14, Oosthuizen blasted out of the rough to 10 feet and made his birdie putt, then found rough and a bunker to bogey 16 before dropping his approach at 17 to three feet and making another birdie in response to a bogey.

Oosthuizen suspects he will need a repeat performance to capture his first major in a decade.

“I need to play pretty similar to what I did today,” he said. “A lot can happen even in the last two, three holes, so try and get yourself in a position with three, four, five holes to go and see what you can do.

“Just need to go out and play some good golf tomorrow.”

Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, who made four birdies and three bogeys in his first seven holes, scrambled to a 70 to stand alongside American Xander Schauffele on level par 210.

Matsuyama, chasing his first major crown, opened with a birdie, followed with back-to-back birdies, then reeled off three birdies in a row on putts inside eight feet before a three-putt bogey at the par-3 seventh.

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Bianca, Dottie make cut

Agence France-Presse

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For the second straight day, Bianca Pagdanganan and Dottie Ardina shot identical scores — even-par 72s — to safely make the cut in the LPGA Portland Classic at the Columbia Edgewater in Portland, Oregon Saturday.

Pagdanganan and Ardina are among 13 players tied for 43rd spot on two-under 142 and get a chance to play together for the first time in the final round on Sunday.

Both Filipinas are paired with American Andrea Lee at 9:15 a.m.

Pagdanganan, the 22-year-old rookie making her fourth start in the LPGA, began with three bogeys in the first six holes.

“I struggled a bit with my irons but I eventually got it together,” said the reigning Southeast Asian Games champion.

Pagdanganan strung up four straight birdies from 9 to 12 until she closed with a bogey on 18.

Averaging 274 yards off the tee, she found only nine of 14 fairways and missed seven greens.

The 26-year-old Ardina, on the other hand, missed only one fairway but missed six greens.

She had a roller-coaster round of five birdies against the same number of birdies.

Both ICTSI-backed players lie 12 shots behind leader Mel Reid who fired seven birdies in a seven-under par 65 to take a two-stroke lead over defending champion Hannah Green.

England’s Reid, a six-time winner on the Ladies European Tour who is chasing a first LPGA title, heads into Sunday’s final round on 12-under par 132.

“Put myself in great position, a position that everyone wants to be in, so I’m excited for the opportunity tomorrow,” said Reid, who strung together four birdies in a row from the sixth through the ninth and rolled in her final birdie of the day at the 18th.

“Just keep doing the same thing and see where tomorrow afternoon takes us,” added Reid, who shared seventh at the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, California, last week.

“I felt like I hit it really good last week, so kind of took that momentum going into this week,” said Reid, who said she benefitted from the day off on Thursday after the tournament was reduced to 54 holes because of poor air quality due to wildfires.

“I think it did me a favor having an extra day off,” she said. “I was pretty tired from last week.”

Australia’s Green, who shared the first-round lead with American Cydney Clanton, followed her opening 66 with a four-under par 68 for a 10-under total of 134.

She shook off a bogey at her opening hole, the 10th and put herself alone in second with a birdie bomb at her final hole, the ninth.

“I got off to such a great start, so it’s always hard to back up a low round,” said Green, whose two wins last year included her Portland triumph and her first major title at the Women’s PGA Championship.

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