PHL ladies grope in LPGA qualifiers

Dottie Ardina stumbled with a late bogey that cut short her frontside rally as she settled for an even par 71 even as Clariss Guce and Bianca Pagdanganan continued to grope for form after two rounds of the grueling Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Q-Series at Pinehurst, North Carolina, Thursday.

Ardina recovered big from an opening bogey on No. 10 with birdies on Nos. 2 and 4 but missed the par-three No. 7 and failed to get up-and-down, ending up with a 35-36 round at the par-71 layout. Though she improved by two strokes after an opening 73, the Filipina ace still dropped from joint 34th to a share of 43rd at 144 as majority of the bidders from starting field of 98 made their moves and gain ground, including American Lauren Kim, who sizzled with a 66 to grab the lead at 134.

Erstwhile front-runner Kim Kaufman, also of the US, slipped to second at 135 after a 70 after 36 holes of the two 72-hole eliminations.

After a two-over 73 start, Guce fell farther back with two bogeys in the first four holes but got the strokes back on Nos. 5 and 9 only to fumble with another bogey on the par-five 16th for a 72 and a 145.

Pagdanganan, the low medalist in Stage1 and rallied in the final round to finish tied for eighth in Stage 2 of the eliminations which stakes precious cards for the 2020 LPGA season, also failed to rebound from a 74 start with three bogeys in the first five holes and limped with a second three-over card after trading three birdies with the same number of bogeys in the last 13 holes. She fell to joint 74th at 148, 14 strokes off the pace.

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