With a 5-under-par 139, Stanford freshman Mariah Stackhouse earned a spot in the U.S. Women's Open on Tuesday afternoon after leading the qualifying tournament on the Eisenhower Course hosted by the Industry Hills Golf Club.
Stackhouse was the low medalist in one of 20 qualifiers conducted by the U.S. Golf Association. Those who qualify will compete at the U.S. Women's Open, to be played on the Sebonack Golf Course in Southampton, N.Y., on June 27-30.
"In the car with my dad on the way to the airport, I kept looking at him and saying, 'Wow. I'm going to the Open again, and this time I qualified medalist," Stackhouse said. "I've never played Industry Hills Golf Club and didn't know much about it, so I had no idea what to expect. The course feels a lot like Stanford Golf Course to me, so I immediately felt at ease and knew that I could handle it well. It feels great to know that even after exhaustion from NCAAs and having my dad fly to LA from Georgia to caddy for me, it was all worth it."
Fresh off tying for 29th to lead the Cardinal at the NCAA Women's Golf Championships, Stackhouse had a weekend to rejuvenate.
"I was pretty golfed out after NCAAs, so I took both Saturday and Sunday off to relax and go out with my friends," said Stackhouse who posted rounds of 72-68-74-81 for an overall 7-over 295 in the finals hosted at the University of Georgia Golf Course. "I think that helped me be fresh and eager to get going Monday with my practice round."
Stackhouse capped off her freshman season with eight top-10 finishes, including two collegiate titles, and a 72.0 stroke average in 32 rounds of competition. Earlier this spring she shot a 61 (-10) for a collegiate and course record at the Peg Barnard Invitational, where she won her first victory and managed to shoot a 26 in the front nine.
"The 81 I shot at nationals was really out of character for my game right now," Stackhouse continued. "I didn't think about that at all headed into the qualifier or allow it to make me feel like all of a sudden something was wrong with my game. I was focused only on going as low as possible at Industry Hills."
Stackhouse hit 14 fairways, 13 greens and had 28 putts for a solid opening round.
"I was the second group off, so when the first round was finished I had no idea what the other numbers were or where I stood before the second round started," Stackhouse said. "Heading into the second round, I just wanted to put up another under-par round and hope that five-or-more under would secure me a spot."
On the par-72, 6,740-yard Eisenhower Course, Stackhouse returned for her second round at 12:10 p.m., teeing off the 10th hole in the 36-hole event.
Despite an opening bogey on the 10th, she came back with a birdie on the 13th, then paired a bogey on the 15th with a birdie on the 16th, evening out before heading into the back nine. Stackhouse made back-to-back birdies on the first and second holes to go two under, but bogeyed the seventh to record a 71.
In her second round, Stackhouse hit 11 fairways, 11 greens and used 28 putts.
This marks Stackhouse's second Women's Open start. In 2011 at age 17, Stackhouse shot rounds of 75-71 for an overall 146, winning a two-woman playoff to earn one of three last available qualifying spots at the 66th U.S. Women's Open at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo.