MILWAUKEE — Bobbi Stricker's week on the Symetra Tour ended Saturday, but not without a fight and Casey Danielson will be the lone Wisconsin golfer of the five competing in the PHC Classic playing in Sunday's final round.
Stricker, a University of Wisconsin golfer from Madison, shot a second-round 73, improving four shots and 14 places over Friday's opening round, and finished the week tied for 124th place out of 156 golfers in the field.
"I felt way more comfortable (Saturday) than Friday," Stricker wrote in a text message to Wisconsin.Golf. "I was still a bit anxious starting out the round, but settled down a lot faster (Saturday)."
Stricker started on the back nine and bogeyed the par-3 12th hole early in her round before making birdies at the par-5 15th and par-4 18th holes to make the turn in 1-under 35. She bogeyed Nos. 1 and 8 around seven pars on the front nine, making nothing worse than one double-bogey in her 36 holes.
"My overall assessment is that I’m improving very nicely," wrote Stricker, who will be a redshirt sophomore for the Badgers this fall for the start of her third year since taking up the game competitively after starring as a tennis player at Waunakee High School. "I really had a fun time and it was a great learning experience. I put my game under a different kind of pressure these last two weeks than I ever have and I’m encouraged and proud with how I handled it."
Meanwhile, Wisconsin is down to just one golfer for Sunday's final round.
Danielson, the medalist last winter at Ladies European Tour Qualifying School, made four birdies and two bogeys in a 2-under 70 as she slipped six spots into a tie for 16th place. At 5-under 139, she is eight shots behind leader Dottie Ardina of The Phillip, who shot 67 and extended her lead to three shots over American Lauren Coughlin (67-67).
The highlight of Ardina's round came on the par-5 10th when she made a double-eagle. She used a TaylorMade M1 5-wood on an approach from 190 yards that took one hop and found the bottom of the cup.
“I hit it close on Nos. 8 and 9 to about 5-6 feet, but I missed both putts,” said Ardina, who began her round on the back nine. “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 broke the PHC Classic 36-hole scoring mark of 135 set by Brittany Marchand 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.
Edgerton's Allyssa Ferrell shot a second-round 73 and finished her 36 holes at 4-over 148, four shots shy of making the cut for the final round. Former UW golfer Jessie Gerry of Madison struggled to a 79 and matched Stricker in a tie for 124th at 6-over 150. Kohler's Jenna Peters shot 76 and finished tied for 138th at 151.