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Saso, Pagdanganan open bid in Women's World tilt

MANILA, Philippines, February 29 ------ Yuka Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan expect to rebound with strong performances in the Women’s World Championship after coming up short to post at least a Top 15 finish in last week’s Honda LPGA Thailand. But they face a formidable challenge in the highly anticipated $1.8-million championship beginning Thursday in Singapore.

Jin Young Ko banners the elite 66-player field in the four-day championship, shooting for a record third straight victory in the event that has been dominated by the Koreans since 2019. Backed by Solaire, Ko kicks off her drive at 10:08 a.m. on No. 1 of Sentosa Golf Club’s Tanjong course, alongside Celine Boutier of France and Canadian Brooke Henderson in one of the marquee matchups.

Saso, who placed sixth here last year, launches her campaign at 9:08 a.m. with Swede Madelene Sagstrom and Korean Mi Hyan Lee, also at the frontside of the par-72 layout, while Pagdanganan starts at 9:01 a.m. at the back, facing American Jennifer Kupcho and Chinese Muni He.

The 2021 US Women’s Open champion settled for joint 16th in Thailand while ICTSI stablemate Pagdanganan tied for 29th in her first LPGA tournament since regaining her card late last year. But focus will be on Patty Tavatanakit, who guns for a third straight championship after ruling the Saudi Ladies International two weeks ago and winning at home last week. The Thai ace drew Aussie Minjee Lee and Kiwi Lydia Ko at 10:20 a.m. on No. 1 in what promises to be a thrilling duel among major champions.

Also in the fold are World No. 1 Lilia Vu and Danielle Kang of the US, Japanese Ayaka Furue, Chinese Ruoning Yin, Swiss Albane Valenzuela, and Koreans Hyo Joo Kim, Sei Young Kim and In Gee Chun.



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