YUKA Saso and Bianca Pagdanganan, the last two Filipino athletes to see action in the Tokyo Olympic Games, begin their campaigns in the women’s individual stroke play event on Wednesday.
The two will tee off at the Kasumigaseki Country Club for their four-round campaign, lasting until Aug. 7, where they hope to land a podium finish, particularly winning the gold for the Philippines.
US Women’s Open champion Ms. Saso, 20, starts off at 7:25 a.m.
She is grouped in the first round with American Lexi Thompson and Canadian Brooke Henderson.
While she is packing momentum with her US Open win heading into the Olympics, San Ildefonso, Bulacan native Ms. Saso expects the competition in the Games to be a totally different challenge.
“I think it will be a different experience compared to majors…” Ms. Saso said in an interview with lpga.com.
“But I think it’s a good chance to meet different athletes from different countries and learn from them, too.”
For Ms. Pagdanganan, 23, the Olympics is something she was angling for when the sport was brought back for the Games in 2016, and she feels honored and privileged to be able to compete in it.
“I don’t know how much more excited I could be than very excited” Ms. Pagdanganan, too, shared with the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) website.
“I made it a goal of mine to represent the Philippines when they brought golf back in 2016. I just didn’t think I’d be able to reach it this quick…”
Ms. Pagdanganan tees off at 6:52 a.m. along with Leona Maguire of Ireland and Matilda Castren of Finland. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo