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May 21, 2018

Jennifer Kupcho

Bianca Pagdanganan

Stillwater, Oklahoma

JENNIFER KUPCHO: It means a lot to me to have my teammates here supporting me and cheering me on all day, and my parents, on their anniversary to win it for them is really exciting, and just to bring it back to Wake Forest for coach Diane Dailey, she's been here so long, and it's great to get the first individual win on the women's side.

THE MODERATOR: Bianca, obviously a lot of drama there at the end. Take us through going to the 18th hole, you shot you made there to not only finishing second place to taking your team to the playoff. Talk about the emotion of that.

BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: Well, honestly, I had no idea where we were at for my last two holes. I can only remember my coach telling me, you have to play the best golf of your life. That's what I tried to do. I tried to keep a mindset, just hit greens and make your putts. Going to the last hole, I just had no idea, so I just tried to hit my driver in the middle of the fairway. I just had to commit my second shot to hitting it on the green, and walking to the green, all I could hear were my teammates telling me, Bianca, you got this, you got this, like, okay. I was thinking, just get it close to the hole and two-putt for birdie. But I don't know, for some reason I just had a lot of confidence standing over that putt, I saw the line, and I knew I was going to make the putt, and it just feels amazing that I was able to do that for my team.

Q. Also, Bianca, talk about the emotion of coming back and having an outstanding playoff, as well.
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: Well, it was, of course a mix of emotions. It was overwhelming. It was just overflowing. I was shaking right after that putt, but my coach told me that you guys are going to go -- you guys might have a playoff, I was like, okay, well, I just have to stay calm, don't get ahead of yourself.

But I still kept that passion in me because I know that I still had to play more for my team, and we were able to do it.

THE MODERATOR: Jennifer, talk about being so close last season. What did you learn from that to be able to propel you to win the championship today?

JENNIFER KUPCHO: Coming from last year, I think just coming really strong, not looking at the leaderboard and just playing the best golf I can play. That was pretty much it. It was trusting my assistant coach as he was walking with me all day.

Q. Jennifer, did you think about what happened last year today, and how much did it jump up in your thoughts?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I think it kind of came up when I had the rough patch on the front nine, and then definitely on the 17th tee shot, just because it's the same hole and it was kind of a narrow tee shot all week. Those are the two holes that it came up.

Q. What was your mindset? What was the mindset to settle you down?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I had no idea how many I was or if I was even leading. I was just really focused on the shot. My assistant told me to take a couple deep breaths before I hit the tee shot, and I was able to hit it down the fairway.

Q. How long does it take to get over something like that?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I kind of just forgot about it I think a couple days later because I qualified for the U.S. Open a couple days later and had a sense that people talked about it. They talked about the bad weather, and I'm like, I don't remember that. I just kind of tried to forget about it.

Q. How much do you have to kind of refocus after round 2?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Not a whole lot. I wasn't hitting the ball well that day, so that was kind of the main struggle. I think just coming off of a 65, it was really hard, a lot of pressure was put on me, but after the 74, I think just being tied for the lead gave me a little bit more oomph and more like -- I was more comfortable.

Q. Do you think of it as redemption or revenge?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Maybe a little bit, not a whole lot. I think just -- it's just exciting to get here after everything I've been through with the concussion and struggles with the team and now getting to be here with my team and having them celebrate with me after I made the putt.

Q. How did your putter help you after 6, 7, 8 and 9?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yeah, basically the whole rest of the round, he was telling me, the rest of the girls are going to hit a rough patch just like you did, just keep going. I think we both learned a lot from last year, and I think we're definitely -- we probably would have struggled to do that last year, but now I think we worked together really well.

Q. What do you think it is about yourself that you're able to summon your best golf at competitions?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I think just because it's like right at the beginning of the summer when a lot of the big tournaments are in the fall, it's just kind of taking a break from summer and then you come back strong in the spring, and I think I just played well just because I'm getting ready for everything that's coming up, as well.

Q. How long have your parents been married?

Q. Have you thought much about turning professional?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: Yes, but after I finish school.

Q. Bianca, how did the playoff maybe help you momentum-wise?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: Well, I guess most of us are pretty excited for tomorrow. We worked so hard for this, and we knew that we could do it, so I guess carrying that momentum on. Today is a new day and we shouldn't really get ahead of ourselves, but I think that's always something important we should carry on, have that fire and passion going for tomorrow, especially since we're going up against the No. 1 seed.

Q. Why should you be voted the Annika award winner?
JENNIFER KUPCHO: I played well all year, I came back from a rough last year, and I made the winning putt too, to send my team here for the first time in a couple years.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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