Bianca Pagdanganan fired an eagle-spiked six-under-par 66 while Dottie Ardina and Yuka Saso hobbled with similar 73s at the start of the Cognizant Founders Cup in Clifton, New Jersey Thursday (Friday in Manila).

Bianca Pagdanganan (AFP File Photo)

Pagdanganan, a 24-year-old Tokyo Olympian, sizzled in the first 15 holes by shooting five birdies and an eagle 3 on the 12th before stumbling with a lone bogey on the 16th to trail solo leader Madelene Sagstrom by three strokes at fourth place.

Her early performance was her best round of the year, sustaining her fine form after coming off at joint third-place finish in the US Women’s Open qualifier in Fort Myers, Florida.

She said her strategy during the first round was “knowing where to miss.”

Pagdanganan, indeed, hardly missed after hitting 10 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens.

“I’ve tried to take everything hole by hole and I think it’s been working out pretty well and I’ve figured out a new way to help myself out on the course,” Pagdanganan told, adding that the US Open qualifier was “a bit of a kickstart”.

In contrast, Ardina and Saso struggled, finding themselves in the crowded 92nd place.

Ardina blew hot and cold by shooting four birdies against five bogeys for nines of 36-37, while Saso stumbled with a double-bogey on the par-4 11th hole apart from posting four birdies and three bogeys.

Source: Manila Bulletin (