BIANCA Pagdanganan (PHL) tees off on the ninth hole during the first round of the women’s individual stroke play of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Kasumigaseki Country Club. — REUTERS

BIANCA Pagdanganan had a strong showing while Yuka Saso struggled in the opening round of the women’s individual stroke play of the golf competition in the Tokyo Games at the Kasimugaseki Golf Club on Wednesday.

Ms. Pagdanangan, 23, fired a two-under par 69 to be in the mix at the top of the leaderboard at joint seventh place after the first 18 holes while Ms. Saso, 20, scored 3-over par 74, good for 47th place.

Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Pagdanganan padded her push with back-to-back birdies in the first two holes while holding steady the rest of the way.

She is making her Olympic debut and made it known that she is looking to do well and give the Philippines a good representation.

United States Women’s Open champion Ms. Saso, meanwhile, did not have a good day, with a performance which saw her with five bogeys and just two birdies.

Sweden’s Madelene Sagström topped the opening round with a 5-under par 66, followed by Nelly Korda of the United States and Aditi Ashok of India with a 4-under 67.

Mses. Pagdanganan and Saso resume their Olympic bid in the second round on Thursday with tee-off set for 6:30 a.m. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo