Ardina ties for 20th place, banks $18,138

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    IMPROVING with each round, Dottie Ardina capped her campaign in the LPGA Marathon Classic yesterday (Sunday in the US) with a four-under par 67 to finish tied for 20th place with three others at the par-71 Highlands Meadows Club course in Sylvania, Ohio.

    It was the best performance so far the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour for Ardina, who closed out with a 72-hole total of 278 over the 6,686-yard layout, netting $18,138 (roughly P890,000) for her efforts. She earlier shot rounds of 72-70-69.

    Compatriot Bianca Pagdanganan, a 30th Southeast Asian Games double gold medalist, recovered from her six-over 77 in the penultimate round and shot an even par 71 but still finished in a six-way deadlock at 59th spot with a total output of 284. She won $4,125 (roughly P202,000).

    Ardina, who earned her LPGA tour card in 2013, stumbled early with a bogey on the par-five No. 5 but bounced back with birdies on No. 7 and No. 9 to end at the front at one-under 33.

    The former national amateur champion was solid on the back nine with birdies on holes No. 10, 13 and 18 for a three-under 34 going home.

    Pagdanganan, who anchored the national women’s squad to a sweep of the women’s individual and team gold in the SEA Games, had a rollercoaster round highlighted by four birdies against a bogey and a double bogey on the par-four No. 16.

    American Danielle Kang rallied from five shots down in the last six holes to finish the tournament ahead by one shot with a three-under par 68-269, good for the top pot of $255,000, following the final-hole collapse of erstwhile Australian frontrunner Lydia Ko.

    The win was Kang’s second straight after ruling the Drive On championship in Scotland the previous week.

    Up by four shots entering the final round, Ko blundered with a double bogey on the par-five No. 18 and limped home with a two-over 73-269, falling into a tie for runner-up honors with Englishwoman Jodi Ewart Shadoff, who checked in with a four-under 67. Each got $133,555.

    The LPGA tour goes overseas in the next two weeks with the Ladies Scottish Open and Women’s British Open. – Bong Pedralvez