Bianca Pagdanganan Holes Two Eagles In NCAA Regional Second Round
May 9, 2017
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Bianca Pagdanganan made eagles to cap both the front nine and back nine on Tuesday to shoot a 69 (-3) in the second round of the NCAA Regional Championship at the University of New Mexico Championship Course in Albuquerque, N.M. She was one-under on the front with birdies on number one and seven, with the eagle on nine. She only had one bogey on the back with a birdie on 16 and an eagle on 18 to go two-under on the back nine and finish in a tie for fourth place, two strokes off the lead and a 10-spot improvement from Monday.
“I am happy with the way I played today, especially with the wind blowing really hard,” Pagdanganan said. “I did miss a couple fairways, but I was able to make some putts to save my pars.”
The wind was tough all day and Pagdanganan sputtered a bit to start her round through the first six holes. She had a wild front nine with just three pars. Pagdanganan started the day with a birdie on the par-five first for the second consecutive day. She suffered bogeys on holes number two, three, and six, after two pars on the par-four fourth and fifth, to enter the final three holes of the front +2 in the round.
“She was playing a bit defensive early because of the wind,” Gonzaga head coach Brad Rickel said. “We had a great talk walking up to number seven and decided it was time to get after it.” She rolled in a 20-foot birdie from the fringe on the par-four seventh and parred the par-three eighth.
Pagdanganan then conquered the longest hole on the course, the par-five ninth, by scoring an eagle to go -1 on the front after she holed out her wedge shot. It was just the fourth eagle in the tournament to that point.
“After the birdie on seven, we were immediately in a better emotional state,” Rickel said. “After the eagle on nine, we felt like we turned in a great round.”
She bounced back to even on the day after bogeying the par-three 11th, with pars on the par-four 10th and 12th. Pagdanganan went on to make pars on the par-four 13th and 15th, along with the par-five 14th, getting up and down from the bunker on 15.
She then made a birdie two on the par-three 16th with a 40-foot putt up and over the hill, and par on the par-four 17th. Pagdanganan ended her back nine in the same fashion as the front nine, as she eagled the par-five 18th, a hole she bogeyed the day before. She had 197 yards in up the hill after her drive and scorched a hybrid within 15 feet. She rolled home the right to left putt and became the first golfer in the field to record two eagles in the tournament.
“When we felt like it was turning on us again she got up and down on 15,” Rickel said. “She had a great putt and fist pump to finish off the 69. This round could have gotten away from her with the conditions and how we played early, but she gutted out a great round.”
She is currently tied with Laura Kowohi of NC State and one stroke behind Martina Edberg of CSU Fullerton among golfers on teams not in the top six. Renate Grimstad of Miami is three strokes behind Pagdanganan, as only the top three players not on advancing teams move on to the National Championships. Pagdanganan’s 69 is just the third round in the 60s in program history in the regional round. She owns the other two rounds as well, a first-round 67 and second-round 69 in last year’s regional.
Albane Valenzuela of Stanford leads the field by one at -4. Pagdanganan was one of five golfers to shoot a 69 on Tuesday, as Edberg had the low round of 68. Pagdanganan leads the field in eagles and is second at four-under on the par-five holes. Julianne Alvarez of Washington and Edberg are in second overall at -3, and Tatiana Wijaya of Pepperdine and Kowohi are tied with Pagdanganan at -2.
From each of these four regionals, the low six teams and the low three individuals not on those teams (for a total of 24 teams and 12 individuals) advance to the national championships, May 19-24, 2017, hosted by Northern Illinois University at Rich Harvest Farms, in Sugar Grove, Illinois.
Pagdanganan will tee off at the same time as her first two rounds in the final round on Wednesday, 7:15 am PST on hole number one. She will be joined by Edberg and Jess Yuen of Missouri, who is in a tie for 27th at +3.
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