LPGA’s largest hitter caught on sidelines as tour makes use of 2020 precedence rankings
ORLANDO, Fla. – The LPGA Tour’s first full-field occasion of the season begins Thursday on the Gainbridge LPGA, nevertheless it may very well be a number of extra weeks earlier than the tour’s longest hitter returns to motion.
Bianca Pagdanganan, who as a rookie led the tour in driving distance in 2020, wasn’t in a position to Monday qualify for the Lake Nona occasion. Whereas she’ll strive once more at subsequent week’s LPGA Drive On Championship at Golden Ocala, the long-hitter isn’t slated to compete till the Lotte Championship in mid-April. It’s not as a result of she doesn’t wish to tee it up, however due to the playability guidelines for 2021.
The LPGA’s annual precedence listing is the information the it makes use of to find out who will get into the sector every week. LPGA commissioner Mike Whan introduced final Could that the tour would use the identical precedence listing for the 2021 season because it had in 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Winners in 2020 might enhance their place on the precedence listing with a victory, however everybody else, no matter efficiency, would preserve their standing heading into 2021.
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“I strive not to consider it as a lot since there’s solely a lot we are able to management, and the way I really feel in the direction of sure issues is among the few that I can,” Pagdanganan informed GolfChannel.com by way of electronic mail. “I’m simply going to get pleasure from this 12 months and the tournaments I’ll be taking part in.”
Pagdanganan made essentially the most of her taking part in alternatives in 2020. She made her first begin in July, competed in 10 occasions, recorded two top-10s and capped off the season at No. 60 on the cash listing. In an bizarre 12 months, that top-80 end on the cash listing would have earned her entry into practically each occasion in 2021. Pagdanganan, nevertheless, received’t get to reap the rewards of a stable first season. As an alternative, she sits at No. 167 in Class 14, which is made up of the top-45 finishers at 2019 Q-Sequence. It’s the identical place she held at first of final season with a restricted variety of taking part in alternatives.
She was the 20th alternate for the Gainbridge occasion.
“I don’t precisely understand how I really feel about having a second rookie season, nevertheless it’s good to return into the 12 months with extra expertise due to the occasions I used to be in a position to play in final 12 months,” Pagdanganan stated. “With that have, I’ve a greater thought as to the place my recreation stands and [I’ll] use final 12 months as a motivation to work tougher and turn out to be a greater participant.”
Ought to the 23-year-old Filipino get pleasure from a season much like the one she had in her first run as a rookie, she might reshuffle into the next place on the precedence listing (after the Pure Silk Championship concludes on Could 23) and improve her taking part in alternatives within the latter months of the 2021 season.
Pagdangnan completed T-9 in her main debut on the KPMG Ladies’s PGA Championship to earn her largest payday of the 12 months, $83,765. She led the tour in driving distance at 283.07 yards.