Round Two of the Copper Rock Championship saw several players jump up the leaderboard and into contention. Alyaa Abdulghany (65) and Gigi Stoll (66) both fired impressive rounds on moving day to get themselves within shouting distance heading into the final round. Even with the field putting together great rounds, everyone is still chasing Savannah Vilaubi heading into the last 18 holes.
Vilaubi followed up her first round, 63 with a solid second round, carding a 3-under 69. The new course record holder fired off five birdies to go with two bogeys and will carry a one-shot lead heading into the final round. She sits at the top of the leaderboard alone with a tournament total of 12-under.
“I started the round pretty strong with a couple of birdies, then I had a couple hiccups with the putter, but I bounced back and made some more coming in,” said Vilaubi. “I figured steady play would keep me in it and my birdies would eventually drop.”
Vilaubi looks to take home her first victory tomorrow and will try to do it in style. If the University of California, Riverside alumna can close out the Copper Rock Championship, she will be the first player of the season to go wire-to-wire.
“My mindset going into the final round is to keep everything the same. I am going to keep it very simple, not get too aggressive with lines, stay committed to my shots, and just pick a high-percentage shot,” explained Vilaubi. “The birdies are eventually going to drop. It is just a matter of staying patient and letting the birdies fall tomorrow.”
Stoll will also be looking to pull off a first for the season. The Casino Del Sol Golf Classic Champion will be looking to go back-to-back and become the first player to do since Xiaowen Yin did it in 2022 at the Firekeepers Casino Hotel Championship and the French Lick Charity Classic. Stoll put together a bogey-free 66 in round two and looks to continue her momentum heading into the final round.
“I got off to a good start; I birdied the first two holes of the day. On the front nine, you can really get after it and make a lot of birdies out there, which I was able to do. I am hoping to do the same thing tomorrow and shoot a little lower on the back,” said Stoll. “I think I am playing the golf course really smart and taking what the course gives me. I am hitting the shots I need to hit and have been executing through and through.
Abdulghany, who got off to a hot start in round one, found it again during the middle of her second round. The Malaysian rattled off seven birdies in nine holes before her first hiccup of the day on her 16th hole. The former University of Southern California Trojan finished strong with a birdie to sit one shot back, sharing second place with Stoll at 11-under.
“It was gratifying [walking off the last green]. It was nice,” said Abdulghany. “But I also know I still have one more round to go and we’ve got a lot of work to do, so it’s a bittersweet finish. I have a lot of confidence. I’ve always known I can play well, and it goes to show that a lot of hard work that I’ve been putting in has paid off.”
Sixty-six players made the cut at even-par, including Canadian, Alena Sharp and Filipino, Bianca Pagdanganan, who like Abdulghany, shot 7-under during the second round.
Ana Belac (-9, 5th) on a bogey-free round:
“Those are really rare. I was hitting a lot of solid shots, and every time I missed, I missed in the right spot and made a good save. Lately, I’ve been making a lot of bogeys and a lot of birdies, so I was just trying to cut down on the mistakes I’ve been making lately, and it paid off today.”
Natasha Andrea Oon (-8, T6) on making her fifth cut in five events:
“I love putting myself in contention, though I’m a little bit back - four shots back. I’m always going to take this as an opportunity to grow as a player, and I’m always going to remind myself that I’ve had this experience again and again. I feel really good, really blessed and really grateful for everything.”
Marta Sanz Barrio (-8, T6) on unfinished business at Copper Rock Golf Course after a T2 finish in 2022:
“There’s something about this place that I like. I just feel good when I come here. I like the golf course, and the way from the fairway that I watch the greens is fitting to my eye. I can attack every pin I feel like, so I hope I can get one position better than last year.”
Alena Sharp (-6, T17) on a -7 second round:
“It was nice to see some putts drop. I have been playing decent lately, just not scoring. Yesterday I missed some greens with wedges. I spent some time on the range last night and hit some nice shots today. I’m looking forward to tomorrow”