Arizona's Bianca Pagdanganan makes hole-in-one, ties NCAA individual lead

Stan Liu/Arizona Athletics

Arizona's Bianca Pagdanganan makes hole-in-one, ties NCAA individual lead

College

Arizona's Bianca Pagdanganan makes hole-in-one, ties NCAA individual lead

STILLWATER, Okla. – Arizona junior Bianca Pagdanganan has made two holes-in-one in competition. Her first came at the 2017 Pizza Hut Lady Thunderbird Invitational, where as a sophomore at Gonzaga she shot 11-under 61 to tie the NCAA Division I women’s golf 18-hole record. The most recent came in Saturday’s second round of the NCAA Women’s Championship.

Pagdanganan, who is called “the unicorn” by her team because of her extraordinary golf talent, is most known for her long-driving ability. But it was her work with an 8-iron on Karsten Creek’s 148-yard, par-3 11th hole in Round 2 that generated the most excitement.

With a front-left hole location and a ridge behind the hole leading up to the green’s top shelf, Pagdanganan was just trying to aim right of the hole and hit the middle of the ridge so that her ball would roll back to the hole and give her a good look at birdie.

“I hit it – and my depth perception’s pretty bad – but it hit the top of the ridge and I was like, ‘Oh no,’ because I thought it was going to bounce to the back of the green,” Pagdanganan said. “I was slowly turning away from my ball, but then I heard people by the green start yelling and screaming. So I turned back and saw my ball slowly rolling toward the hole, and then it disappeared.”

Pagdanganan, in a state of shock, then asked Wildcats assistant Derek Radley, “Is that a hole-in-one?” To which Radley joyfully replied, “Yes!”

The ace moved Pagdanganan to 2 under on her round and 3 under for the championship. She went bogey-free in her final 13 holes on Saturday with four birdies to go along with her hole-in-one. Her second-round, 4-under 68 has her at 5 under, tied for the individual lead with Alabama’s Cheyenne Knight and Wake Forest’s Jennifer Kupcho, who was still on the course when Pagdanganan finished her round.

The Wildcats were 16 over as a team and T-4 on the leaderboard by the end of morning-wave play.

“I’m really happy with my round today,” Pagdanganan said. “Everything just worked well together today, and I just tried to stay patient. This golf course is really tough and I think patience is a huge factor if you want to play well. That hole-in-one helped bump up my adrenaline, but I still tried to remain calm after that and not get ahead of myself.”

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