NCAA Women's Golf Championships: UCLA surges into 1st after second round

UCLA Athletics

UCLA is in the clubhouse in first place and Arizona's Bianca Pagdanganan is tied for first on the individual leaderboard, as the Bruins and Pagdanganan's Wildcats have completed their second rounds on Saturday at the 2018 NCAA Women's Golf Championships at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma. 

There are seven Pac-12 women's golf teams participating in the NCAA Championships in all: Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Washington. Individuals include Cal's Marthe Wold and Oregon State's Nicole Schroeder. The field of 24 teams will be cut down to the lowest 15 after the third round, along with the top nine individuals on non-top-15 teams, for a fourth and final round of stroke play. At the end of four rounds of stroke play, the lowest eight teams will advance to the match-play portion of the event to determine the NCAA champion.

UCLA

The Bruins soared into first by shooting a whopping 9-under as a team on Saturday, the best team round of the NCAA Championships by seven strokes. Through 36 holes, the Bruins are 3-under for the championship and ahead of second-place Alabama by five strokes (the Crimson Tide is also in the clubhouse after shooting 2-under Saturday). Nobody else is close — the next-closest team, USC, is 13-over.

Lilia Vu rose to the occasion on Saturday, firing a second-round 68 to get to 4-under for the regional, which currently has her in fourth. The Bruins also got a 69 from Mariel Galdiano, tied for ninth at even par overall, and a pair of 71s from Patty Tavatanakit (-2 overall, tied for fifth) and Bethany Wu. As such, UCLA is the only team at this year's championships to have all four golfers coutning for the team score shoot under par.

USC

The Trojans were seven strokes higher on Saturday, putting down a 10-over 298 to drop from first to third at 13-over. Based on the way teams played Friday, it doesn't look like the Trojans will be knocked from their third-place perch by the end of the day.

Everybody finished over par for the Trojans on Saturday, with Alyaa Abdulghany turning in the lowest round with a 1-over 73. Allisen Corpuz is the low Trojan for the championships at 2-over after shooting a 2-over 74. Corpuz is currently tied for 19th on the player leaderboard in Stillwater.

Arizona

The Wildcats were much improved from Friday, shooting 10 fewer strokes to wrap up a 3-over 291 day that has Arizona in a tie for fourth with another bunch of Wildcats from Northwestern. That's a jump up of three spots after finishing Friday in a tie for seventh. 

The highlight of the day for the Wildcats was easily this from Bianca Pagdanganan on the 11th hole:

Pagdanganan carried the torch for Arizona, fighting back from bogeys on two of her first five holes to rip off a 4-under 68 and work her way into a tie for first at 5-under alongside Alabama's Cheyenne Knight and Wake Forest's Jennifer Kupcho. Yu-Sang Hou also put in under-par work on Saturday, firing a second-round 71 to get to 1-over for the championship (tied for 13th).

Stanford

What a difference a round makes — the Cardinal was 17 strokes better on Saturday, registering a 3-over 291 to get to 23-over on the championship. That is currently good for ninth, just three strokes back of eighth-place Duke. The Cardinal was the second-biggest mover of the day behind Furman, jumping up seven spots from its Friday placing.

Andrea Lee was the story of the day for the Cardinal, as the sophomore from Hermosa Beach, California, shot a 3-under 69 to move up to 2-over through 36 holes. An eagle on 18 helped Albane Valenzuela get to 1-over for the day, while Shannon Aubert birdied her last two holes to shoot 74 for her second round.

Washington

The Huskies stayed in 10th after the second round by carding a 12-over 300 as a team, three strokes lower than Friday. Currently at 27-over, the Dawgs are seven shots behind eighth-place Duke and five shots clear of 16th, so things are looking good for UW to at least play into Monday and put itself in a position to contend for match play.

Karen Miyamoto provided the low round of the day for Washington. She shot even par to remain at 4-over for the regional. Rino Sasaki carded her second-straight 75 to get into the clubhouse at 6-over.

Arizona State

The Sun Devils are currently in 21st out of 24 teams, but they're in far better shape than their momentary placing would indicate, as 15th place is only four strokes away. For the second round, Arizona State shot 9-over as a team, 17 strokes lower than Friday, to get to 35-over through 36 holes. 

The Sun Devils got their first individual under-par round of the 2018 NCAA Championships from Roberta Liti, who recorded a 1-under 71 to get to 8-over. Meanwhile Olivia Mehaffey and Raquel Olmos each shot 74s. Mehaffey is the lowest Sun Devil for the championship at 7-over.

Oregon State

Oregon State's Nicole Schroeder improved her Friday score by four strokes on Saturday, carding a second-round 1-over 73 to get to 6-over through 36 holes. Starting on the back nine, Schroeder recorded birdies on 12, 18, two and eight.

California

Cal's Marthe Wold was 5-over on the day and is now 9-over for the championship. Wold double-bogeyed her first hole, the par-4 10th, but steadied things with three straight pars and a birdie on 14 before bogeying three of her next four holes.

Colorado

Colorado, which was tied for 13th after Friday's action, slipped slightly to be tied for 14th through Saturday. Brittany Fan had the low score of the day for CU as she shot a 2-over 74. Robyn Choi and Alisha Lau weren't far behind. Both carded 3-over 75s. The Buffs will now aim to use Sunday to stay in Stillwater for round four.

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