Bianca, Yuka out of contention


TOKYO—Bianca Pagdanganan carded an even-par 71 on another scorching summer day that saw American Nelly Korda taking over the reins after the second round of the women’s golf competition at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.

Pagdanganan started at two-under but dropped from joint fifth at the start of the day to a tie for 27th as the top contenders got their rhythm going at the Kasumigaseki Country Club.

From three down, the 23-year-old Pagdanganan fell  11 shots behind new leader Korda, who assembled a tournament-best nine-under 62 for a four-shot lead on a 36-hole total of 129. She had a 67 in the first round.

Yuka Saso, on the other hand, made three birdies in her final five holes to score a three-under 68 and get back to even-par 142.

Saso and Pagdanganan need a major rally in the final two rounds to have any hope of bringing home a medal from their Olympic debut.

Nanna Koerstz Madsen of Denmark (64), Aditi Ashok of India (66), and Emily Pedersen of Denmark (63) tied for second place at nine-under while overnight leader Madelene Swagstrom of Sweden was alone at 8-under after a 68.

Pagdanganan and Saso’s hopes for a comeback are under threat from an approaching typhoon that could force organizers to cut the tournament to 54 holes.

An abbreviated tournament will all but dash the hopes of the two Filipinos in the 60-man field, who will need the two rounds to storm back into contention.   A decision is expected to be made on Saturday.

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