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Saso, Pagdanganan seek redemption at Ford Championship

MANILA, Philippines – Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan are determined to bounce back from their recent LPGA Tour performances as they mix it up with the world’s best in the Ford Championship unfolding Thursday in Gilbert, Arizona (Friday Manila time).

After disappointing finishes at the Se Ri Pak Championship in California last week where Saso ended up tied at 27th and Pagdanganan at joint 55th, the ICTSI teammates are optimistic about their prospects at the Seville Golf and Country Club.

With its lengthy 6,734-yard course, they plan to leverage their power while also focusing on precision in their iron shots and putting in the $2.25-million tournament.

Following Nelly Korda’s playoff victory over fellow American Ryan O’Toole last week, which also secured her the World No. 1 ranking, she will be closely watched in the next four days.

Other notable contenders are Lilia Vu, Rose Zhang, Celine Boutier, Lydia Ko, Allisen Corpuz, Bailey Tardy, Megan Khang, Brooke Henderson, Minjee Lee, Ruoning Yin, Alison Lee, Lexi Thompson and Koreans In Gee Chun, Eun-Hee Ji, A Lim Kim, Jenny Shin, Hyo Joo Kim and Sei Young Kim.

Boosting the cast are Japanese Ayaka Furue, Hinako Shibuno and Nasa Hataoka, Swede Linn Grant, Aussie Hannah Green and Spain’s Carlota Ciganda.

Saso, aiming for her first title since her major breakthrough in the US Women’s Open in 2021, drew Anna Nordqvist of Sweden and A Lim Kim at 12:34 p.m. on the first hole, while Pagdanganan tangles with American Auston Kim and Korean Hee Young Park in the 12:12 p.m. flight at the backside.

But focus in the first two days will be on the marquee matchup featuring Korda, Ko and Boutier at 12:56 p.m. on No. 1.