Jessica Porvasnik stepped on the gas Friday in the second round of the Casino Del Sol Golf Classic and never let up. She fired a second consecutive bogey-free, 7-under par 65 to open a three-shot lead at 14-under.
“Definitely pretty confident going into the next two rounds, playing solid and hitting fairways and greens which always helps,” said Porvasnik, who carded three straight birdies from Nos. 7-9 in round two. “Stick to the gameplan of thinking ahead and setting myself up for the next shot.”
The Ohio State University alumna was a two-time winner on the Women’s All Pro Tour (WAPT) in 2021, which provided self-assurance for the week at Sewailo Golf Club and the Epson Tour season in general.
“It really prepared me and they do a great job setting up the courses, similar to out here. They play great golf courses, and it has really helped my career,” Porvasnik said. “Sewailo is a strategic course, not just for long-ball hitters. You play to the right parts of the fairway and then you can attack the greens.”
Three shots back of the lead sits Dottie Ardina, one of eight players who shot 7-under 65 in the second round to match the 18-hole tournament scoring record for the Casino Del Sol Golf Classic. After a back nine start, the 2018 Epson Tour graduate managed a bogey-free, 6-under 30 coming in on the front that included an eagle on the par-5 6th.
“I had 200 yards and then probably 12 feet,” Ardina said about the eagle. “I had one bad hole which I think was very unlucky because I hit the sprinkler on the par-3 15th, and it bounced like 50 yards over the green.
“I need to keep going and not hold back. The par 5s are short and I hit it longer here since the air is so dry. I gained like 20 yards with my driver. The course is amazing, and the greens are a pure roll.”
Andrea Lee rounds out Saturday’s final grouping off No. 1 tee at 9:01 a.m. PST. The Stanford University alumna ventured to Pima County off a tied for fifth finish at the IOA Championship in Beaumont and a second-round 65 has her in solo third at 10-under overall.
“I stayed really patient, had a couple mistakes and made some good par saves. Seven birdies and I felt like I could have made a few more but hopefully they’ll drop this weekend,” said Lee. “I am going about my business and not really worrying about how I’m scoring. My game is in a good spot, and I played well last week. It was a confidence booster for this week.”
Four players are five shots back and tied for fourth including Lucy Li. The 19-year-old went 7-under par over her last seven holes on Friday, thanks to five birdies and an eagle at No. 6.
“That was unexpected but nice,” Li said. “Other than the last seven holes today, I feel like I have played pretty average golf. There are even lower numbers out there. My game feels really good right now. There are a lot of short irons into greens, which is a strength of mine. As long as the putts fall, like they started too, it can be a low round.”
Nicole Broch Estrup (70) found an albatross with a 9-iron from 131 yards on No. 6 in the second round. Tournament sponsor exemption and amateur Abbey Schutte (71) shares 23rd place, while Tucson native Krystal Quihuis (70) sits in a tie for 44th. A total of 70 players made the cut of 1-under par.
Samantha Wagner (-9, T5) on her putting in the second round:
“I actually lipped out an eagle putt on No. 6, but happy to birdie the par-5 anyway. I made a lot of long putts today and jokingly told my dad [and caddie], ‘I think we’re better off 20 feet or more than inside of 10 feet.’ I just got in a good groove, and it really felt great. I would probably say six [of my eight] birdies were from 18 feet or longer. My last birdie was a three-foot putt and the other around 15 feet. And then a couple lengthy par putts too.”
Jessica Peng (-7, T12) on her nine birdies en route to a second-round 65:
“Oh, I had nine? That means I had two bogeys. I know I had two three-putts. So, nine birdies breaks my old record because the most I had was eight and my best score was 65, too. I don’t think about the next day, just go out and do what I usually do. A big difference compared with yesterday was mindset being a little more aggressive. I wanted to make the putts, instead of two-putt and tap it in. That is something I need to do more consistently.”
Tucson native and tournament sponsor exemption Krystal Quihuis (-2, T45) on making the cut:
“Honestly, it feels really good. There are no other words. I practiced my butt off for this tournament and using my new swing, new mentality, my goal was to play happy the entire two days. I had no idea where I stood and focused on one shot at a time, basically. But it feels really good.”