Nagano in Striking Distance Entering Final Round

TEMPE, Ariz. — Minori Nagano will enter the final round of the PING/ASU Invitational just three strokes back of the individual lead after firing a 1-under 71 in Friday’s second round at Papago Golf Club.

Nagano finished under par for the second day in a row, following a 3-under 69 in Thursday’s opening round. She will go into Saturday in a tie for fifth at 4-under par, with Ellie Bushnell (Oklahoma State) leading the field at 7 under. 

No. 12 Oregon closed round two with a 4-over 292 and sits in a tie for 10th place at 2 over. No. 4 and No. 11 Northwestern are tied for the team lead at 7 under.  

How it Happened: Nagano got off to a slow start with bogeys on each of her first two holes, but she bounced back with consecutive birdies at holes 7-8 to make the turn at even par. The senior added another birdie at No. 11 and then rebounded from a bogey at No. 13 with her fourth birdie of the round at No. 16.

Nagano has now shot par-or-better in 12 of 18 rounds this season, second-most on the team.

Fifth-year senior Ching-Tzu Chen finished one stroke back of Nagano, coming in with an even-par 72. Chen immediately rebounded from a bogey on her opening hole with a birdie on No. 2, and she added another on No. 15. Chen carded her 10th par-or-better round of the season.

Sophomore Anika Varma made three birdies en route to a 2-over 74, and freshman Ting-Hsuan Huang completed the counting scores with a 3-over 75.

Ducks on the Leaderboard:

T10. Oregon – 286-292 – 578 (+2)

T5. Minori Nagano – 69-71 – 140 (-4)

T38. Anika Varma – 72-74 – 146 (+2)

T38. Ching-Tzu Chen – 74-72 – 146 (+2)

T63. Ashleigh Park – 71-78 – 149 (+5)

T75. Ting-Hsuan Huang – 76-75 – 151 (+7)

Notable: Oregon is playing this weekend without the nation’s No. 4 ranked player in freshman Kiara Romero, who is preparing for the upcoming Augusta National Women’s Amateur … Nagano is 2-under par on par-3s this week, tied for the second-best mark in the field … Huang is 3-under par on par-5 holes, tied for the fourth-best mark in the field.

Up Next: The Ducks will close out the PING/ASU Invitational with the third and final round on Saturday.