Ahead of Bianca Pagdanganan’s 23rd birthday on Wednesday, the 2020 LPGA Tour Rookie said she is already living her dream. Heading into the final two rounds at Reynolds Lake Oconee beside veteran players, like Ally McDonald and Danielle Kang, Pagdanganan said it was a surreal moment, as she remembered all those she looked up to when she was young.
“Growing up definitely Annika Sorenstam and Lorena Ochoa. They were the top players when I was growing up. But I also had some local players to look up to--Jennifer Rosales who played on Tour when I started to play golf,” said Pagdanganan, who finished in third at -14. “But being at this level and just being able to compete with the greatest players, it's so much fun.”
Now inspiring younger kids herself, the Filipino cannot reiterate enough how lucky she feels to be where she is. Of course, her hard work was what got her here.
“I say this a lot, but I really do get to live my dream. If you told me a couple years ago that I would be playing on the LPGA Tour and be in this position in my rookie year I probably wouldn't believe you,” said Pagdanganan. “Playing with the best of best, it's such a great experience, especially as rookie. Makes me want to be in this position even more.”
CME GROUP CARES CHALLENGE—SCORE 1 FOR ST. JUDE
The CME Group Cares Challenge is a season-long charitable giving program that turns aces into donations. CME Group donated $20,000 for each hole-in-one made on the LPGA Tour in 2019, with a minimum guaranteed donation of $500,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which is leading the way in how the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and life-threatening diseases.
Austin Ernst made the ninth hole-in-one of the 2020 LPGA Tour season on Thursday, finding the bottom of the cup on No. 4 with a 9-iron from 138 yards during the third round. The nine aces on the 2020 season means a total of $180,000 has now been donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital this year.
The 2019 LPGA Tour season saw 32 total aces from 31 different competitors for a total of $620,000. That more than covers the average cost of $425,000 needed to treat a pediatric cancer patient.