October 10, 2020
Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, USA
Aronimink Golf Club
THE MODERATOR: We're here with Bianca Pagdanganan, who just shot a 5-under 65 after a 5-under 65 yesterday. Bianca, after starting with the 5-under 67, what changed for you going from Thursday into Friday?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: This is my first major ever, so I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous, so I guess it was more of just me being able to embrace my nerves and playing with whatever I have. I just enjoyed my last two rounds, which I feel like I was a little bit more nervous than excited on my first round.
THE MODERATOR: Do you think this was really getting that first major round under your belt? As you said, this is only your sixth, seventh LPGA event ever, so was it just getting those nerves out of your system.
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: Yes, definitely. This is my sixth LPGA event, including the Marathon that I played two years ago, but it's definitely -- you've got to experience it somehow. There's a first time for everything, so I'm just really glad that I get to experience this whole major tournament, and I'm hopefully looking forward to more.
THE MODERATOR: Not a lot of people get to say their first major is at a place like Aronimink. Had you done any research on the course before you got here? What was the experience like when you first stepped up to the tee?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: Not necessarily, but I knew that it was a Donald Ross designed course just like Inverness, so I knew it was going to be a challenging course and it was important to make sure you know where to miss your shots.
THE MODERATOR: You mentioned Inverness; you're a 2020 LPGA rookie but because of all the unfortunate things that have happened this year, your rookie campaign started back when we were at Inverness for the Drive On Championship. Not only is this your first major, that was your first LPGA event as a pro. 2020 hasn't been the year you were expecting, I'm sure. How did you deal with the pandemic-related break earlier this year?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: I guess I just had to make the most out of what I had. I feel like everything was going through the same thing. No one could really leave the house. I just tried to maximize my time at home. I set up like a driving range in our backyard, I worked out, just made sure that I was physically and mentally in shape before the first event.
Q. Were you home in the Philippines during that time?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: No, I was actually in San Diego. I've been in the U.S. since January. I wasn't able to go home at all.
Q. What's the sense of accomplishment in playing the last two days without a single bogey on the card?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: I honestly wasn't even thinking about that until I hit my last putt on the last hole, and I looked at my scorecard, and I was like, I don't think I've done this ever. This is probably my first time where I've played two back-to-back rounds bogey-free, but it is definitely an achievement, especially on this course. It's really tough. Before the tournament I told myself, pars are going to be great on this course and bogeys are going to be all right as long as you can bounce back. But thinking about a bogey-free round back-to-back is pretty cool.
Q. Did you have any big par saves today that kept that streak going?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: I did have a couple of good saves, yeah. Making par putts from like 10, 15 feet, so yeah.
Q. Where was that?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: So there was hole No. 8, the par-3, and then -- this is as much as I can remember. And then the back nine, hole No. 12, I think I had like a 10-foot putt for par. Yeah, there were a bunch of tough putts. My putting just felt really good.
Q. Overall what has the experience been like for you this week at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship and experiencing your first major?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: It has definitely been a lot of fun, especially just -- I mean, seeing my two scores, I'm just really enjoying my time out here. Like I said, this is my first major and I'm just trying to learn as much as I can, play my best. It's been pretty surreal being on this incredible golf course, so we'll just see how tomorrow goes.
Q. You're easily one of the longest players on the Tour, and the few events you've been at, you're currently leading the Tour in driving distance. Everyone we've heard throughout the week has said this is a course where length is going to matter. Do you feel that your length has really helped you so far this week?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: This week, definitely, especially on some of the longer par-4s. I mean, I have longer irons in, which isn't really that bad, and maybe a few wedges on some of the par-4s, so I'd definitely say it was an advantage for me this week, but I obviously had to keep it on the fairway, which I kind of struggled with on the first round, but kind of figured it out for my last two rounds.
Q. When you're on the tee box of No. 9 and No. 16, the par-5s, what goes through your mind in terms of how you're going to play those holes and what you'd like to achieve?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: Honestly, it's definitely the same for every tee shot I've hit. It's just to keep it on the fairway and give myself a chance to hit the green in regulation. I try not to be too aggressive. I feel like that's really important. You can't be too aggressive on this course. I've been playing a little bit more conservative, so I've honestly had the same mindset for every tee shot, and that's just hit the fairway. That way I have a bigger chance of hitting more greens.
Q. Your putting statistics show a big improvement from round 1 to your last couple of rounds. Would you attribute that more to your improvement on your putting or a little bit more towards your iron game being sharper and your proximity to the hole being a little bit closer?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: Well, this year honestly I'd say I've been working a lot on my putting, my tempo, and I'm seeing a huge improvement. Maybe not in the first round but my last two rounds they've been pretty good. I would say both an improvement on my putting and my iron game in the last two rounds, so it's a little bit of kind of everything.
Q. Lastly, you're in the clubhouse now, you've got some time to think and prepare for tomorrow. What are you going to do now, and how are you going to prepare for tomorrow?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: Probably going to practice some putting and hit a few more balls. But I'm probably going to stick to the same game plan tomorrow, I'm not going to try to overthink anything, and I think I do better when I don't think at all, so I'm just going to play my game and just enjoy my last round.
Q. You said that you battled some nerves earlier in the week. How do you think you're going to handle tomorrow in terms of nerves? What do you do to kind of push that aside?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: Nerves? I mean, I just -- I've just learned how to play with it and embrace it. It's always going to be there. Every time I get nervous -- someone used to tell me, like a past coach, if you're nervous then it means something to you. So I guess I just have to embrace it. I just tell myself that there's a reason why you're here and you're good enough to be out here. Just don't try to do anything spectacular, just enjoy and play your game.
Q. How have you specifically worked on your tempo and your putting stroke, any drills or what in particular have you done?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: Well, I have this thing called Blast Golf that really checks your tempo, and when we had the quarantine situation earlier in the year, that's pretty much what I focused on. It's definitely helped me a lot.
Q. What is it?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: It's a device that you attach to your putter and basically you just hit a few putts, and it tells you your tempo, like your back stroke time and your forward stroke time.
Q. What's the time you're trying to achieve?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: So I've had it for the longest time, and I didn't really use it, so I had to look up how to use it. Ideally it says that the ideal ratio of your putting stroke should be two to one, so your back stroke should take twice as much as your follow-through. See, I try not to think as much, I just try to feel everything, but it's working out really well.
Q. Whatever it is, it works?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: Yeah.
Q. I believe on Thursday you were 7-over or something like that at one point. What really -- did you give yourself a pep talk, or what turned things around?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: So I got back to the car, and my dad picked me up, and he basically just told me -- he just looked at me and said, Welcome to the majors. I was like, Thanks, Dad, it's a great welcome. My dad knows my game pretty well. He's with me in like every tournament, so he basically just told me, you've just got to stop thinking, which I agree because I do play better when I don't think. I'm not the most mechanical technical person, I'm all about feel, so that's all he told me; you've just got to trust your swing, look at your target and just get it there. Just don't try to analyze anything else. That's basically what I've been doing the past two rounds, and it's been working really well.
Q. What's your dad's first name?
BIANCA PAGDANGANAN: Sam. He's right there. Hi, Dad.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Bianca, we'll see you tomorrow.
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