Arizona Wildcat Bianca Pagdanganan played well in her first LPGA event at the Marathon Classic in Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania, Ohio, Bianca who is a home grown filipino talent scored an Even-Par 71 and is tied 58th on her first day of the tournament.
Bianca earned a special exemption into the tournament as part of the Wildcats winning the national championship earlier this year, If you can recall Bianca made the eagle putt that was heard around the amateur golfing world, Bianca sank a clutch 30-foot eagle putt on the final hole of team stroke play to force a playoff with Baylor and try to earn a place in the match play portion of the championship.
Arizona then proceeded to defeat Baylor in the playoff to earn the final spot in the eight-team match play field to decide the national championship.
The head coach of the championship team is able to choose one player to play in the LPGA event, and UA head coach Laura Ianello selected Pagdanganan.
“I have decided that Bianca deserves this exemption because her eagle putt is what started all of this,”
Ianello told the Golf Channel’s George Savaricas following the NCAA Championship.
I’m hoping that Bianca will make the cut tomorrow and also win the best amateur of the tournament but to do that she must be able catch and overtake Wake Forest Standout Jennifer Kupcho who is currently playing superbly at 3-Under Par.
Bianca is a fellow Camp Aguinaldo Golf patron and I had the privilege of watching a few of her practice sessions at the Aguinaldo Golf Driving Range years ago when she was still climbing the amateur ranks in the Philippines as a junior golfer and then as a regular amateur.
Korean Superstar In-Gee Chun is trying to end her title drought by winning the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic at Legends Championships Course in Oneida Wisconsin. In-Gee scored a first day 5-under 67 and followed it up today with a 6-under 66 to place her tied 3rd and very well within striking distance of the friday leader Sei Young Kim.
In-Gee came very close several times last year in capturing a title but has always come up short by placing runner-up to the likes of Ariya Jutanugarn and Jin Young Ko. I’m pretty optimistic In-Gee will win more than one title this year and by playing more tournaments this year her chances of winning goes even higher.
Current leader Sei Young Kim is also on a roll this week and would serve as a formidable brick wall to In-Gee Chun’s path to victory. Sei Young carted a 63 and 65 the first two days to lead second placer Yu Liu by 4 strokes and I’m looking forward to what happens at tomorrow’s moving day Saturday.
Gaby Lopez leads for the first time in an LPGA tournament round, her 8-under 63 score was her career low and enough to put her on top of the heap by 1 stroke. The Walmart NW Arkansas Championships is being played at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers Arkansas, home of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Gaby Lopez is a homegrown talent as she was an Arkansas Razorback in her college days and now is in her 3rd year in the LPGA, hopefully she can sustain her good game and be able to go all the way to the finish and bag her 1st win. Winning her first tournament at home would be a very sweet prospect for Gaby.
Hot on Gaby’s trail is the older half of the vaunted Jutanugarn sisters, Moriya is gunning for her second win for the year and Gaby needs to put her A game throughout the tournament to hopefully keep Moriya at bay.