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TWO OF A KIND — Pagdanganan, Guce brace for richest LPGA season ever


‘And I probably was not giving myself more credit for putting. This season I thought I made good putting that I thought I did.’

REY DEL RIO and MICHAEL COHEN/agence france-presse FILIPINAS Bianca Pagdanganan (left) and Clariss Guce mix it up with the world’s best golfers.

From none this year, the Philippines all of a sudden has two golfers to cheer for in the 2024 LPGA Tour.

Bianca Pagdanganan and Clariss Guce — the only Filipinas with full status in hand — will not just fight for individual honors but for big money that comes with them.

A total of $118 million in purse will be dangled in 35 tournaments lined up for next year which is described as the most lucrative ever.

Last year, the Tour gave away $101 million, according to the internet reports.

Yet instead of giving a big speech, the 26-year-old Pagdanganan was more introspective.

“We live and we learn,” Pagdanganan said after her fourth season in the pros. “It was a tough first half of the year and there were times when I would beat myself up over things I did or could’ve done and that only did me more harm than good.”

She did time in the Epson Tour this year with just one top 10 finish. But what gave her inroad to the big league was her two top 3 finishes down the stretch — second place in Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America and third place in Walmart NW Arkansas.

Pagdanganan regained the full status she had back in 2019, the same year Guce did.

And the 33-year-old Guce was likewise pragmatic over the prospects. One day before she formally regained her card, The California State Northridge alum made a striking reflection.

“I definitely learned that being nicer to myself works wonders,” Guce said.

“And I probably was not giving myself more credit for putting. This season I thought I made good putting that I thought I did.”

Guce said she wants to take some time off — for the remainder of the year — because she has been through “overwhelming and tiring.”

Wait until she’s back in the Tour.

The median income for an LPGA player is $141,428, according to industry studies. The Top 10 percent gets a median of $1,320,900 when playing in at least 20 tournaments.

Pagdanganan’s biggest paycheck: $143,411 she won in The Ascendant. She finished 57th in the CME List and 70th in the Official Money List.

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