Sports

A shot at repeating as NCAA golf champs goes slightly awry

 

The Stanford and Washington women's golf teams battled into sudden death of Wednesday's NCAA championship match, with the Huskies prevailing, 3-2, at Eugene Country Club.

The final two matches each needed two extra holes. One went to the Cardinal, the other did not.

With the match tied at 1-all, Ying Luo holed out from 51 yards on 18 for birdie to halve and take the match 1-up over Casey Danielson.

Washington looked like it was on the cusp of clinching the match behind the play of Julianne Alvarez. The freshman was 3-up after 15, though Lauren Kim came back, winning 16, 17 and 18 to bring the match back to all square.

"It started on 15 where I was hitting my approach in and I happened to get a glance at the scoreboard and I think we were down in three matches so that motivated me to turn on some heat," Kim said.

While that match went to extra holes, Mariah Stackhouse tied the overall match up at 2-all when she won 1-up on Sarah Rhee.

Stackhouse was 3-up on Rhee heading into the 15th hole before the Washington freshman picked up wins on three straight holes to bring the match to all square and force a play-off.

"My match was pretty steady most of the way through up until 15," Stackhouse said. "I had control for the majority of the day, and then on 15 she birdied and I kind of let my emotions get to me a little bit there for a second, just because I was disappointed with the result I got on my second shot. After that she birdied, and you can't get mad at losing a hole when somebody birdies, so I just tried to turn it around, but her putter got hot. She just started making everything. But I was able to hold her off once we went into 18, and we halved that hole and continued."

Moving to the play-off hole, the two halved on the first one and then Stackhouse stuck the par putt on the second one to claim the win.

The deciding point then shifted back to Alvarez and Kim who halved the first play-off hole and then headed to the second one. After a shaky second shot from Alvarez, she nailed the third shot to within inches of the hole and conceded par.

Kim, whose second shot went into the rough, sailed her birdie putt well past the hole. Her par putt then slid past giving Alvarez the victory and the Huskies their first championship.

In the first two matches to finish, Stanford's Shannon Aubert won 2&1 over Charlotte Thomas while Wenyung Keh of Washington defeated Sierra Kersten 4&3.

— Mark Soltau/Stanford Athletics

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