Bianca Pagdanganan shot a tournament-best nine-under-par 63 to barge into the top 20 at the close of the LPGA Portland Classic at the Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland, Oregon Sunday.
The 24-year-old Filipina fired an eagle and eight birdies against a single bogey to grab a share of 19th spot on 10-under, nine shots behind American winner Andrea Lee.
It was Pagdanganan’s best finish this season that boosted her bid to keep her card. She now ranks 118 in the CME Rankings. The top 100 at the end of the season get exemptions for the next season.
The last time she posted a Top 20 finish was July of last year during the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational where she ended up in joint 12th.
The 63 also was Pagdanganan’s career-best, eclipsing the 8-under 62 she posted in the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational last July.
Starting at the back, Pagdanganan was in beast mode, reaching all greens in regulation while making six birdies to make the turn on 6-under.
She birdied 10 and missed the green for the first time for her only bogey.
Pagdanganan, averaging 287 yards off the tee, completed her domination of the par-5 holes with a birdie on 5 and eagle on 7. She finished four par-5 holes on 5-under.
The red-hot Filipina missed only three fairways and two greens while making only 27 putts.
Meanwhile, Lee, a former world amateur No. 1, reeled off eight birdies in a 12-hole stretch for a closing 66 and 19-under 269.
“It’s more than I could imagine,” Lee said after her breakthrough triumph. “I can’t believe it. I’m speechless.”
Her charge was good enough for a one-stroke victory over Ecuador’s Daniela Darquea, who closed with three consecutive birdies to shoot 66 and finish on 270.
A third-place pack on 271 included South Korea’s An Na-rin, Australia’s Hannah Green, Japan’s Ayaka Furue, Germany’s Esther Henseleit, and American Lilia Vu.