The No. 9 Stanford women's golf team rallied Sunday by shooting a 4-over 292 to earn the Pac-12 Conference title, its second in program history.
The feat came against a premier field which made the Pac-12 Championships one of the best showcases of collegiate golf this season. Six Pac-12 teams were ranked among the top-11 in the nation heading into the tournament, including defending NCAA champion and top-ranked USC.
Prior to Sunday's comeback finish, the program's only other Pac-12 title came in 1999. The top billing was the 11th top-10 finish in as many events on the season for Stanford.
Taking advantage of its depth, three Cardinal finished in the top-10 with Casey Danielson (74-73-72), Lauren Kim (75-71-73) and Mariah Stackhouse (71-75-73) all tying for ninth at 3-over. Marissa Mar (74-72-74) checked in one stroke behind to tie for 13th. Mariko Tumangan (67-81-78) tied for 32nd at 10-over.
Stackhouse recovered from a double bogey on the first hole and stood at 3-over after bogeying the par-4 sixth. Birdies on nine, 11 and 13 put her at even before a bogey on 14. Pars on the next four holes wrapped up her day at 1-over.
Kim's 1-over came with three birdies, and Danielson shined with an even-par 72 with a pair of birdies and two bogeys.
Mar overcame five bogeys with three birdies, including a clutch conversion on 18.
Both Mar and Tumangan had 10 birdies during the three-day, 56-hole tournament.
The NCAA Regionals will be held May 8-10 with SouthWood Golf Club (Tallahassee, Fla.), Karsten Creek Golf Club (Stillwater, Okla.) and Tumble Creek at Suncadia Resort (Seattle, Wash.) serving as the host sites.
The teams and individuals that will participate will be announced live Monday on the Golf Channel.
Stanford won its first Pac-12 Conference Championship trophy in 20 years Sunday as all six golfers shot a 2-over or better on the final day of the tournament at The Gallery Golf Club near Tucson.
The top three Stanford golfers finished among the top nine. Patrick Rodgers earned medallist honors with a 7-under 281. Cameron Wilson (4-under 284) finished third and freshman Maverick McNealy (4-over 292) was ninth.
The Cardinal last won the conference title in 1994, at the Tucson National Golf Course.
Taking a 21-stroke lead into the final round of the 72-hole event at, the third-ranked Cardinal put it in cruise control with a 2-under 1,438 (362-354-367-355) for the eighth title in program history.
The win Sunday was the third straight for Stanford the latest in a season that has featured five team victories, the most since the 2007 national championship squad won seven.
Stanford's showing was 15 strokes better than second-place Washington.
"This is a special group and they've had an unbelievable run this spring," Stanford coach Conrad Ray said. "Patrick has been an incredible leader, and having both Patrick and Cameron finish in the top-5 together consistently is hard to beat. The freshmen have stepped up and contributed, which has helped carry us. This means a lot to all of us."
Rodgers accounted for the program's 21st individual league medallist honor, the most of any team in the Pac-12. Rodgers finished at 7-under to win by two strokes over Washington's Cheng-Tsung Pan.
He's has won 10 times in his career, including four this spring. He trails only the school record of 11 victories by Tiger Woods.
"I couldn't be happier for our team," said Rodgers. "We've worked hard all year for this, and it goes back much further than the start of this season. All the guys who have put so much blood, sweat and tears into this program for the last 20 years deserve a piece of this win."
Rodgers carded an even-par 72 in his final round and held off a charging Pan, whose 4-under helped Washington to a 14-under final round. Rodgers collected four birdies during a five-hole span in the middle of his round to help secure the win.
The difference for Rodgers (71-65-73-72) was his second round of 7-under, aided by three eagles in a seven-hole stretch to widen his lead over the field.
Wilson (72-71-73-68) was third after a spectacular 4-under with five birdies to close the senior's final conference tournament.
McNealy (75-75-72-70) stepped up with a 2-under, while Viraat Badhwar (72-70-78-74) and David Boote (72-75-74-73) were tied for 16th at 6-over. Jim Liu (DQ-73-75-72) shot even-par Sunday.
Stanford advances into NCAA Regional play, which will be held May 15-17 at one of six predetermined host sites around the nation.
This story contains 807 words.
If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.
If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.