ARDINA WIDENS GAP WITH 18 TO PLAY
GLENDALE, Wis. — On day two at Brown Deer Park Golf Course, Dottie Ardina (Laguna, Philippines) only increased her lead with a 5-under par 67 performance to take a three-stroke advantage into the final round of the fourth annual PHC Classic at 13-under overall.
The highlight of her afternoon came on the par-5 10th when Ardina carded a double eagle. She used a TaylorMade M1 5-wood and one hop to find the bottom of the cup from 190 yards out.
“I hit it close on Nos. 8 and 9 to about 5-6 feet, but I missed both putts,” said Ardina. “So, I told my caddie before I hit my second shot on 10 that I need to put this on the green and at least try to make an eagle to make up for those short putts. I holed it and was shocked, surprised, but really happy.”
With a two-day total of 131, Ardina breaks the PHC Classic 36-hole scoring mark of 135 set by Brittany Marchand (Orangeville, Ontario) last year.
“I thought maybe if I shot 2-under on the front and 2-under on the back that I would be in a good position,” Ardina said. “It’s always give and take. Having two three-putts today and a double eagle, I’ll take it because it’s golf.”
Meanwhile, the best scores in round two came courtesy of Cheyenne Knight (Aledo, Texas) and Dana Finkelstein (Chandler, Arizona). Each fired a bogey-free, 7-under par 65 to drastically vault up the leaderboard, as Finkelstein went from 61st to tied for ninth and Knight ended the day tied for seventh after starting 43rd.
For Knight, it was a career-best, as the rookie topped her previous low round of 4-under par set on two different occasions—the second round of the Forsyth Classic and first round of the Prasco Charity Championship.
“I feel like I have been putting well and I really hadn’t put a low number up so far out here, but today everything was clicking,” said Knight, who is searching for her second top-10. “Really rolled the ball well today and it was solid overall. I like this course because it’s tighter off the tee, firm and fast on the greens.”
Playing in the group just behind Knight was fellow University of Alabama alumna Janie Jackson (Huntsville, Alabama). She had her Symetra Tour career-best showing as well, signing for a 6-under par 66 complete with six birdies, two bogeys and an eagle.
The monster outing for Jackson has her tied for third with three others heading into the final round at 9-under par overall. Her length has helped to this point and the course setup only enhances that part of Jackson’s game.
“With the firmness I can get a bunch of extra roll, but the distance for some of the par-5s is really short so I am able to get to them with irons,” said Jackson, who launched a 325-yard drive on No. 10 today. “I’m striking the ball well and made a lot of putts, so that always helps.”
A total of 60 players made the cut of 1-under par and advance to play in the final round tomorrow. Action gets underway at 7:30 a.m. CT with all pairings going off No. 1 tee.
CARR IN CONTENTION WITH NEW WEAPONRY
In addition to Janie Jackson at 9-under par overall, another one of the four players tied for third after two rounds in the PHC Classic is Carlie Carr (Casselberry, Florida).
During the off week prior to the 14th event on the Symetra Tour schedule, Carr added a new arsenal to her bag by switching to Callaway Rogue clubs. The infantry overhaul includes driver, 3-wood, 5-wood and 3-hybrid, as well as 52-degree, 56-degree and 60-degree wedges.
“I like them a lot and am hitting the ball well,” said Carr. “I think the driver is working well for me, and the woods. Getting a different brand and hitting them as well, or better, is always good.”
She most recently played with TaylorMade and hasn’t used Callaway since her middle school days. Overall, the change in approach has her excited and in a good position for the final round.
“I think that my misses are better than the TaylorMade woods that I had,” Carr said. “With the wedges it’s more nerve-racking because I think they go farther than my other ones, so it’s more of trying to get my numbers down around the greens.”
The University of Auburn alumna followed up a 5-under par 67 with a 4-under par 68 today to sit only four shots off the lead. She is in the penultimate pairing tomorrow with Jackson at 12:10 p.m. CT off No. 1 tee.
Even with the new gear and current status in tournament’s top-five, the gameplan won’t change for Carr.
“Just keep it like today, one shot at a time,” said Carr, who already has one top-10 on the season with a tied for ninth finish at the Island Resort Championship. “Don’t get ahead of myself, keep hitting my irons really well and making putts.”
LEADERBOARD AFTER TWO ROUNDS
As the official United States qualifier for The Evian Championship, the top-two finishers in the PHC Classic earn exemption into the fifth and final major on the LPGA Tour schedule.
The final pairing will feature 36-hole leader Dottie Ardina and Lauren Coughlin (Charlottesville, Virginia), who finished tied for seventh at the Final Stage of the LPGA Qualifying Tournament last December. They tee at 12:20 p.m. CT.
Here is a look at how the rest of the leaderboard shakes out heading into the final day at Brown Deer Park Golf Course:
1: Dottie Ardina, -13
2: Lauren Coughlin, -10
T3: Janie Jackson, Carlie Carr, Kendall Dye (Edmond, Oklahoma), Karolina Vlckova (Kladno, Czech Republic), -9
T7: Cheyenne Knight, Lindsay Gahm (Louisville, Kentucky), -8
T9: Dana Finkelstein, Liv Cheng (Auckland, New Zealand), August Kim (St. Augustine, Florida), -7
DOTTIE ARDINA ROUND TWO INTERVIEW
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