Mendoza: Yuka & Bianca: Deadly Duo

Al Mendoza
·2 min read

You are but the typical doubter if you can’t buy it. Bianca Pagdanganan is a real deal and you’ve got to believe it.

Have faith. Have courage. Have it in your heart that the Filipino can.

If only for her lengthy drives, give it to her.

How can you dismiss prospects of greatness for a lady endowed with man-like power in a sport that puts a premium on tee shots reaching the moon?

That’s golf.

You have distance, that’s an advantage outright.

It doesn’t ensure surefire success, yeah, but, oh yeah, it gives you almost half of the chance to nail a tournament each time you start.

In seven starts this year in the world Tour, the toughest ever women’s yearly circuit, Pagdanganan, 22, averaged 288.762 yards from the tee.

That’s more than six yards more than the 282.171 scored by Mexican hotshot Maria Fassi.

Until Pagdanangan came along, I thought it was Yuka Saso, 20-ish, who owned the farthest shot in drives among our new breed of female par busters.

When I played with Saso, not yet 20, then at the Manila Golf Club a couple years or so ago in the company of George Blaylock, she was ripping tee shots 270-yard plus on the average. Never seen one so young and so powerful already.

But unlike Pagdanganan, Saso, who won individual and team gold medals with Bianca in the 2018 Asian Games, is now making waves herself in Japan. With one win across her name and several Top 10 finishes as well, she seems also destined for fame and fortune. Like Pagdanganan.

Pagdanganan is not yet a winner, although she had finished a fighting co-third this week in the Drive On Championship after a strong ninth spot in the PGA, her first major as a rookie.

And here’s the catch: Pagdanganan had consistently hit past 300 yards in her Tour debut, raising eyebrows and drawing predictions she’d be up there in no time.

If height is might in basketball, it is distance in golf.

While height puts you nearest to the basket over the rest, distance directs you closest to the green over the rest.

I won’t be surprised if pretty soon, Yuka would be dominating the Japan Tour and Bianca the US Tour.

With their incredible lengths off the tee, that’s a given. Almost.