Saso’s 'number one fan' Pagdanganan recounts her US Women's Open victory

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 9) — “Exciting” and “nerve-wracking” -- these were some of the words Filipina pro golfer Bianca Pagdanganan used to describe witnessing Yuka Saso clinch the US Women’s Open championship.

“Come on, the three playoff holes in the US Open like, are you serious? And a Filipino winning the tournament? It was just crazy,” Pagdanganan told CNN Philippines on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old golf wonder bagged the championship earlier this week at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California, making her the first Filipino to emerge victorious in any of the LPGA Tour’s five major championships. 

The long-hitting Pagdanganan, Saso’s fellow Asian Games and Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, recounted how she felt so nervous even if she wasn’t even the one playing. Saso, meanwhile, “looked so calm” despite the intense pressure during the game.

“It just seemed like it was her and the golf course,” said the 23-year-old athlete, adding that it made watching the game more fun.

“Just being able to witness her play amazing golf, just being able to witness history –- it was honestly such a great experience. And I’m not embarrassed to say I was her number one fan out there,” said Pagdanganan.

Gunning for Tokyo Olympics

Pagdanganan and Saso are among Filipino golfers eyeing a trip to the Tokyo Olympics, with the latter climbing to the ninth place among 60 Olympic Golf rankings for women after her recent championship.

As for Pagdanganan, who currently places 42nd among the rankings, she considers playing in sports’ biggest stage “the dream.” She finds pride in playing golf and representing the country at the same time, she added.

However, she emphasized the importance of keeping her eyes on the present.

“Right now I’m really excited, at the same time like don’t really want to dwell on that. I just want to focus on like my current tournaments just because that’s the only way I could you know stay in that ranking,” said Pagdanganan.

The Filipina golfer is set to compete in the LPGA Mediheal Championship tomorrow.